A number of primary schools across Greater Manchester have chosen to remain closed today amid fears over spiking COVID-19 rates.
Despite the latest average infection rate numbers in England increasing by 23% week on week to 509 cases per 100,000 people, the UK government announced that primary schools in Tier 4 areas – outside of London – should remain open.
Throughout Greater Manchester, the rate still remains below that of the national average at 278.5 per 100,000 people, but it is seen to be increasing at a sharper speed, with the region recording a 36% rise in cases week on week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday during an interview on The Andrew Marr Show that “schools are safe” and primary school parents should send their children back as they reopened their gates today, despite growing pressure from unions to keep them closed.
Paul Whiteman – General Secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT – said it was “very hard to tell” how many schools would be open for the start of the term. He added: “Some schools in Tier 4 areas will be open for vulnerable pupils and key worker families and will be providing remote learning for others, yet in other areas also in Tier 4, all pupils will be admitted,”
“That’s a confusing picture for school leaders and families alike.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also said it was “inevitable” that more schools will close and urged the government to come up with a plan on children’s learning and for working parents.
This has lead a growing number of primary schools across the region to remain shut today.
Unlike other areas, the majority of councils across Greater Manchester have not called on all their schools to close, but have said they will support any individual school that makes the decision.
Headteachers at each of the schools to announce closure so far across the region have stated that staff members being advised by teaching unions not to attend work on to health and safety grounds as the reasoning for remaining closed.
22 primary schools across the region have already confirmed they will not be reopening today, with more expected to keep their doors shut throughout the morning.
The institutions which have remained closed today are:
- St. Mary’s C.E. High Crompton Primary School, Oldham
- Knowsley Junior School, Oldham
- Holy Trinity C of E School, Oldham
- Mount Carmel R.C, Blakley
- Oswald Road Primary, Chorlton
- St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Wythenshawe
- Birchfields Primary School, Fallowfield
- Pictor Academy, Altrincham
- Longford Park School, Stretford
- Barton Clough Primary School, Stretford
- St Mark’s CE Primary School, Newtown
- Lowercroft Primary School, Bury
- Lily Lane Primary School, Moston
- New Moston Primary School, New Moston
- Abbott Community Primary School, Collyhurst
- Mills Hill Primary School, Chadderton
- Ashfield Valley Primary School, Rochdale
- Little Heaton CE Primary School, Middleton
- St Anne’s RC Primary School, Crumpsall
- Manor Green Primary Academy, Denton
- Broomwood Primary School, Timperley
- Acre Hall Primary School, Flixton
For the latest information, guidance and support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, please do refer to official sources at gov.uk/coronavirus.