North Yorkshire schools will not be closing early for Christmas

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Schools in North Yorkshire will not be closing early for Christmas, it has been confirmed.

North Yorkshire County Council says its schools will remain open until the end of term as originally planned.

The news comes following the decision of a school in Wales to close on December 10 to ensure that children and staff would not be forced to isolate themselves over Christmas if there was a coronavirus outbreak.

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St Martin’s School in Caerphilly has implemented what it referred to as a “mini-family fire break isolation”, in the hope that their families will remain virus-free over the Christmas period.

County Hall, NorthallertonCounty Hall, Northallerton
County Hall, Northallerton

In a letter to parents' headteacher Lee Jarvis said: “By self-isolating now, the hope is that there will be less need to self-isolate over the Christmas period and that there will be fewer cases of children identified as close contact with a positive case from school.”

The decision means that if the school has a positive case on the last day of term the isolation period for pupils would end on Christmas Eve.

This week, Stuart Carlton, North Yorkshire’s director of the Children and Young People’s Service, told a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum that there were no plans to replicate the decision locally.

He said: “All our schools will remain open.

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"I know there have been some stories around about early closures but that isn’t happening.

“All of our schools will continue to remain open until the projected date of around December 18 and we are pleased that so many children are able to get into school on a regular basis.

“I have always said our schools are working hard to keep schools safe, it is the place where we should have our children and parents should be assured that schools are a safe place for children to be.”

One school in the county is fully closed due to a Covid-19 outbreak, with Mr Carlton adding that a number “in the 20s” have a class or a year group isolating.

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