School closures would be 'catastrophic' for disadvantaged children

18 October 2020, 12:50 | Updated: 18 October 2020, 12:56

Anne Longfield doesn't recommend school closures

By Seán Hickey

The Children's Commissioner for England told LBC that if schools were to close again, it would disproportionately affect the worst off in society.

Anne Longfield told Tom Swarbrick "it would be catastrophic" if schools were to close for an extended period after the half term in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"Schools should be the first to open and the last to close," she argued.

Ms Longfield added that "kids are just back into their routine," after an extended period out of the classroom, and "to disrupt that now would have a huge impact on their wellbeing."

The Children's Commissioner worried that if calls to shut school gates were answered, it would "increase that divide in education between the poor kids and those that had more advantage during this time."

Anne Longfield hinted that the most vulnerable children would be irreversibly affected if schools were to close
Anne Longfield hinted that the most vulnerable children would be irreversibly affected if schools were to close. Picture: PA

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

"Political consensus around schools is starting to fracture."

Ms Longfield argued that schools in fact don't need to close as a precaution, revealing that "what the scientists say is that actually schools are managing their safety very well."

"What's already in place is already mitigating many of the things a lockdown might mean," she concluded

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Exclusive
A sister has described the moment she punched a crocodile to save her sister.

'I wasn't going to leave her behind': Twin recalls punching crocodile to save sister

Exclusive
Susan Hall has dismissed Ed Miliband's claim that she would be an 'embarrassment' to Britain as the next London mayor.

Susan Hall dismisses as 'nonsense’ after Ed Miliband said she would be an ‘embarrassment’ as London Mayor

Exclusive
UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's deputy tells LBC, amid warning members have 'neglected defence'

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's Deputy General tells LBC, as he warns Russia 'cannot be trusted'

Emma Webber (left) speaking to LBC

Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber blasts police ‘mistruths’ after force is put in special measures

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Exclusive
Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick