Stephen Hammond wants the Christmas break to be extended
Stephen Hammond MP
Schools across London should have closed on Friday (11 December) the MP for Wimbledon has said.
As the infection rate rises across the capital some schools are taking the decision to close their doors early ahead of the Christmas holidays.
Greenwich and Islington councils have already advised schools in the boroughs to close and move to online learning.
MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, thinks that this is the right call and that schools should remain closed for longer in January.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One programme, he said: “The number of infections is rising very strongly, in some areas exponentially.
“I have been of the view for at least a week now, looking at my area, that schools should have been closed last Friday.
“With only three days left of term I think we should make that decision today.
“It is not just what is happening in schools it is the congregation of parents and pupils outside afterwards.
“I also think we should think very carefully how quickly they should open after Christmas and potentially there should be two weeks of online learning.
“It is very difficult to absolutely isolate the causes of the rise in London but it is clear one of the areas we can look at and know that it’s happening is in schools. Therefore if you look at the evidence closing schools is the right decision.”
He added that he thinks it should be the decision of individual schools whether or not to close and the Government should not be telling schools to remain open.
In the week to December 8 there were 238 cases per 100,000 in Merton – the 11th highest in London. Compared to a rate of 471 per 100,000 in London’s worst affected borough Havering and a rate of 366 in Waltham Forest, the second-worst affected.
Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter
December 14, 2020