MPs to debate petitions relating to the impact of Covid-19 on schools and exams
3 December 2020
On Monday 7 December, MPs will debate petitions relating to the impact of Covid-19 on schools and exams
The debate will be led by Petitions Committee member Jonathan Gullis MP. MPs from all parties can take part, and a Minister from the Department for Education will respond on behalf of the Government.
Reclose schools and colleges due to increase in Covid-19 cases
The petition, which has more than 415,000 signatures, states: “Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in Covid-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.”
In response to the petition, the Government said: “Government’s priority is that all pupils remain in school and college full-time. For the vast majority of young people, the benefits of being in the classroom far outweigh the low risk from Covid-19.”
Cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021
The petition, which has more than 168,000 signatures, states: “The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, six months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.”
In response to the petition, the Government said: “The Government is committed to GCSE, AS and A level exams taking place next year. We continue to believe that exams are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance.”
Implement a two week school lockdown before 24 December to save Christmas
The petition, which has more than 118,000 signatures, states: “Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.”
In response to the petition, the Government said: “As set out in the Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan, schools should not close early or change their Christmas holidays. It remains a national priority to avoid further disruption to education.”
Keep schools closed until Covid-19 is no longer a threat
The petition, which has more than 70,000 signatures, states: “The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.”
In response to the petition, the Government said: “Government’s priority is that all pupils remain in school full-time. For the vast majority of young people, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the low risk from coronavirus (Covid-19).”
What are petitions debates?
Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers.