Laura Sharman 15 December 2020

London council ordered to keep schools open

London council ordered to keep schools open image

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has agreed to keep schools open after it was threatened by legal action from the Government.

The council had asked schools to close early for Christmas and move to online learning following a spike in COVID-19 cases in the borough.

However, education secretary Gavin Williamson issued a temporary continuity direction to the council, warning he will take legal action if the council fails to withdraw the request.

The council said it would withdraw the request to schools but had 'serious concerns' about the move.

Council leader, Cllr Danny Thorpe, said: 'Yesterday the council received a directive from the Government that schools in the borough must remain fully open until the end of term. With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in the borough, I cannot agree that this is the correct choice for our schools. However, I also cannot justify the use of public funds to fight the decision in the courts.

'Consequently, I have no choice but to ask our schools to keep their doors open to all students rather than just continuing with online learning.'

Islington Council has also advised schools to close.

For your free daily news bulletin

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue