A York MP today urged the Prime Minister to commit to a deadline to get all children back in school.
Julian Sturdy, who represents York Outer, tackled Boris Johnson at PMQs this afternoon (Wednesday).
Ministers have indicated that students will back from 8 March. But that could mean a phased return, with children in some year groups waiting weeks longer.
Mr Sturdy asked the PM: “Will the Prime Minster confirm today that all students will be back in school no later than the 8 March?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I can certainly confirm that we’re going to do everything we can… to get school children back on 8 March if we possibly can.”
He said he would be setting out “as much as we can say” on Monday, with a roadmap for pupils’ return in the week of the 22 February.
Constituents ‘really worried’
Speaking afterwards, Mr Sturdy said: “I have been contacted by a large number of constituents who are really worried about the impact that long periods away from school are having on our children’s educational development and mental health.
“Given the success of the vaccination programme and the falling infection rates both locally and nationally, I am of the view that the drawbacks of keeping children out of school now firmly outweigh the benefits.
“I remain concerned however that a phased process, similar to last summer, will see some year groups in some schools not return for several weeks yet.
“I tried to impress on the Prime Minister that if this is the Government’s plan, the process needs to be started earlier, preferably straight after half-term, so that the 8 March return date can be met for all students.”