Hertfordshire County Council responds to announcement of school closures

PUBLISHED: 13:20 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:44 19 March 2020

Councillor Terry Douris gave a statement on the closure of schools. Picture: DANNY LOO

Councillor Terry Douris gave a statement on the closure of schools. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Hertfordshire County Council is working on plans to offer “some learning opportunities” to pupils once schools close on Friday due to coronavirus concerns.

The Hertfordshire County Council offices in Stevenage, where the shared anti-fraud service is based. Picture: Google Street ViewThe Hertfordshire County Council offices in Stevenage, where the shared anti-fraud service is based. Picture: Google Street View

The decision was announced yesterday, March 18, at the House of Commons by education secretary Gavin Williamson.

The schools will be closed after Friday to all but the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

Councillor Terry Douris, cabinet member for education, libraries and localism, said: “I can confirm that following the education secretary Gavin Williamson’s statement yesterday, all schools in Hertfordshire will be closed to children with effect from Friday March 20, until further notice.

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“We are currently working on arrangements to be made for children of key workers and others for whom the government requires provision, to continue in some form. We recognise the difficulties this will cause to many parents but the health and safety of our pupils, staff, parents and residents is the topmost concern both of the government and of Hertfordshire County Council.

“We want to reassure everyone that we are doing everything within our power to protect the health and safety of our residents.”

Corona virus cases in Hertfordshire rose to 50 from 36 on Wednesday, with total cases in the UK up to 2,626 and the total number of deaths at 103.

Cllr Terry Douris added: “Since the start of the outbreak we have been working on plans to enable schools to continue to offer some learning opportunities to pupils in the event of closure. We are currently working with schools on this and hope that all pupils will have access to at least some opportunities for home learning when closures take place. I would like to express my particular sympathy to all those students whose preparations for examinations this summer have been disrupted.

“I can confirm the head teacher of each of our schools in Hertfordshire will be contacting the families of all their students to give information about their specific school.”

School were due to break up in a week or two for Easter break already, but they may not reopen before the summer holiday as the closure is ‘until further notice’.


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