All students will be able to go home for Christmas, Gavin Williamson confirms
Some may have to self isolate towards the end of term
All university students will be allowed to return home for Christmas at the end of this academic term, Gavin Williamson confirmed today.
Speaking in the house of commons on Tuesday, the education secretary clarified the situation regarding after the backlash that came in response to Scottish students being ordered not to leave their halls of residence.
Universities will be expected to support students who cannot return home over the festive period due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Ministers are now said to be planning a system that will ensure the students can return safely.
Some students will have to self isolate towards the end of term if they test positive or have been in close contact with someone who has shown symptoms in the build up to the end of term.
“I know there has been some anxiety about the impact safety measures will have on the Christmas holidays," Williamson said.
“Students are important members of the communities that they choose to study in. We expect them to follow the same guidance as those same local communities.
“We are going to work with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones if they choose to do so.
“Students as well as the wider community accept when we are living in a global pandemic we have to operate in a society with restrictions.
“But I do not believe that we should look to inflict stricter measures on students or expect higher standards of behaviour from them than we would from any other sector of society – there must be a parity.
“It’s essential we put in place measures to ensure this can happen, while minimising the risk of transmission.
“Where there are specific circumstances that warrant it, there may be a requirement for some students to self-isolate at the end of term and we will be working with the sector to ensure this will be possible, including ending in-person learning if that is deemed to be necessary."