ISLE of Wight Schools are among those across England that will close on Friday, the government has announced.

Earlier, Scotland and Wales announced similar measures in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Prime Minister revealed his plan for English schools at his now daily press conference.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The children of keyworkers will still be able to attend, said Mr Johnson, though he said this would only affect a small number of children and not every school may provide a service for key workers. The most vulnerable children will also attend school, said the PM.

Mr Johnson said: "Children of key worker parents - and we'll be identifying those groups - those pupils should turn up to their school. I hope that's clear." 

Exams will not take place in May and June, however Mr Johnson said children would still achieve their results. He did not explain how, however.

The Prime Minister said children should not be left in the care of grandparents, who are among the group likely to be worst affected.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The closures may come as welcome news to 61 per cent of the people who voted in the Isle of Wight County Press’s Facebook poll.

We asked, should schools close?

Of 2,600 votes, 61 per cent of those who responded thought schools should close, while 39% thought children would be safer in the classroom.

Commenting, Isle of Wight County Press reader Darren Donkersley said, “It's got nothing to do with kids being safer - it's about protecting those at most risk. Closing schools too early will take vital front line staff away from work to look after their children. Without these parents being at work will put more pressure on health and social care.”

However, Gayna Carter said, “I think it's safer if the kids are at home. Schools aren’t the cleanest places to be. We need to think about frontliners who work for emergency services, but then we also need to think about our health and our families. Soon we will have to close them. Do it now rather than later”.

The National Education Union has been among those calling for the closure of schools.

Before today’s announcement, Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary of the National Education Union issued a statement.

He said: “Like society at present, education is suffering uncertainty. Locally, the Bay CE Secondary School has a partial pragmatic closure, not due to any confirmed cases of staff or students with diagnosed COVID-19, but simply because staff are following government guidelines and are self-isolating.”