Boris Johnson has told MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday that schools may not reopen schools until after the February half term.
The Prime Minister insisted that schools will be the “very first” thing to reopen after the third lockdown.
Johnson told MPs, “All the evidence shows that school is the best place for our children and indeed all the evidence shows that schools are safe and that the risk posed to children by coronavirus is vanishingly small.
“[For] most children the most dangerous part of going to school, even in the midst of a global pandemic, remains I’m afraid crossing the road in order to get there.
“Our efforts to contain the spread of this new variant would not be sufficient if schools continued to act as a vector or a potential vector for spreading the virus between households.”
He warned the Ministers that in order to prevent further spikes they will have to be “very cautious” when schools can reopen.
Johnson added, “That moment may come after the February half term, although we should remain extremely cautious about the timetable ahead.
“As was the case last spring, our emergence from the lockdown cocoon will not be a big bang but a gradual unwrapping.
“We’ve been doing everything in our power to keep them open.
“Because children’s education is too vital and their futures too precious to be disrupted until every other option has been closed off.”
Later today the Education Secretary Gavin Williams will be making a statement to the Commons over how exams will work for 2021.