Boris Johnson: Schools will open in January 4 months ago

Boris Johnson: Schools will open in January

The prime minister is adamant on a return to education, regardless of the COVID situation

Boris Johnson is meeting daily with education secretary Nadhim Zahawi and has, reportedly, committed to the reopening of schools in January in spite of spiralling coronavirus cases.

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After the Christmas holidays is a vital period in the school calendar, as GCSE and A-Level students sit mock exams. In the coronavirus world, these tests have additional importance. In the event official exams aren't sat, teachers deduce final grades from mock results.

A source close to Mr Zahawi told The Sunday Times: "There is a shared commitment across government to make sure schools stay open."

His predecessor, Gavin Williamson, in one of his many failures as education secretary, notoriously sent primary school children back for a single day, threatening institutions with legal action if they refused.

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A day later Williamson was forced into a humiliating U-turn as the country locked down under the weight of coronavirus infections.

The UK has, over the last few days, repeatedly seen astronomically high levels of coronavirus cases, breaking the daily record consecutively. On Friday there 122,000 cases alone.

In December school leaders said plans for mocks and even summer exams being cancelled were already in motion.

Executive principal of Harris Academy Tottenham and St John’s Wood Nick Soar said previously: "All schools have had to think and plan for the unthinkable.

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"It is a crying shame we are having to devise or even think about a Plan B or even C, but we are and have been since September sadly."