Greenwich borough schools asked to shut from Tuesday 15 December – but not all agree

Greenwich borough schools asked to shut from Tuesday 15 December – but not all agree

Greenwich Council leader Dan Thorpe has requested that Greenwich borough schools close from the end of tomorrow (Monday 14th December).

Online learning is being established for remaining days before the end of term.

Covid cases in the borough have risen sharply over the past week in Greenwich borough with a weekly growth rate of 50 per cent. Lewisham’s growth rate has also increased substantially in recent days following a spike in Bexley borough.



Schools will remain open for key workers and vulnerable children. 8,000 food packages are being created to assist children.

The leader of the opposition in Greenwich Council, Cllr Nigel Fletcher has stated:

“The situation in London is becoming increasingly serious, and I’m having discussions with colleagues across other Boroughs and with local Greenwich colleagues about the response. It’s important we take the right action in as coordinated a way as we can.”

Parents are unsure if nurseries are included. In addition, some schools are academies and not under direct council control, though it is believed pressure is being applied for them to close.

UPDATE: The Ark Greenwich Free School on Shooters Hill is remaining open. In a letter the head teacher states “I will of course continue to monitor the situation closely, however until I am instructed to close by the Government Department for Education (DfE) and/or Public Health England (PHE) our school will remain open to all scholars as normal.”

Hospitalisations across London are rising alongside new cases, with fears that children in schools will contract Covid which then spreads to older relatives during the festive period.

We await news on other schools outside council control.

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14 thoughts on “Greenwich borough schools asked to shut from Tuesday 15 December – but not all agree

  1. Has this been verified? I would be very surprised if this is true and if the council has the power to override government instructions on schools staying open

    1. Just seen it has been verified. Surprised as Nick Gibb was talking about suing schools that closed early for Christmas!

  2. The latest numbers available online are as at last Monday. It is clear that most areas to the east of Greenwich (both north and south of the river) are seeing increasing cases. What we don’t know is how many of these are being spread by schoolkids. Anyone who lives near a secondary school knows that whilst the school may be following measures inside their buildings, once outside it is a free for all.

    If Greenwich are following Public Health advice then, whilst inconvenient for working parents, they have a responsibility to act in all our interests.

    The US is seeing a new spike post the Thanksgiving holiday and we are potentially heading the same way following the Christmas free for all.

    1. The latest numbers are more recent than last Monday. Go to the Corona dashboard – https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ – which was updated at 4pm. Enter a postcode and it gives cases by local authority and hospitalisations by county. Hospitalisations are as of 9/12 and cases as of yesterday. It shows “Latest data at local authority (upper tier) level provided on 13 December 2020”. There is some lag but enough data in recent days to show upward trends.

  3. Not at all surprised by this.

    Actually been expecting something like this to happen ever since the pupils were allowed (to early in ours and many others opinions) to return to schools after the “First Lockdown“.

    Ever since the return of pupils, our local school Woolwich Polytechnic for Boys, have allowed large groups of pupils to congregate without social distancing or wearing face masks each morning on a large “Public“ grass area right outside the school entrance for up to 30 minutes before they opened the gate to let them onto the school premises.

    Brought this to the attention of the school, the council, and the local SNT, and the answer we got back was that “we will monitor this“!!.

    Therefore if this is any indication of what has been going on outside other schools in the borough, then who is to blame?

  4. If it’s already this bad… post-Christmas is looking *very* worrying. A Tier 3 decision for London really can’t (IMHO) wait until later this week with the obligatory 2-3 day ‘notice’ for the irresponsible ones to have yet another ‘one last hurrah’, we need to rethink Christmas gatherings as Germany has today.

    Until there is *much* better enforcement for wearing a face covering and social distancing, we’ll just keep going around in circles. Folks will become even more fatigued with restrictions, and be less in linden to adhere to them.

    The number of times I have been on a train or at a supermarket over the last several weeks and people are either not adhering is concerning to say the least, not to mention the ridiculous crowds in central London you see in news bulletins!

    What’s worse is the Security Attendants at the supermarkets don’t seem to care enough to even politely ask shoppers to do so, never mind challenging them if they refuse do so.

    If we actually do by some miracle manage to ‘survive Christmas’, I fear that January 2021 will be a disastrous start to the year, and will further hammer our already clobbered economy.

    Why can’t people understand that if we *all* make a sacrifice to how we socialise, etc., whilst things will be tough, they will be a *lot* better than if we keep having to have to go through endless local Tier 3 lockdowns or national lockdowns.

    To quote Tony Hayward (the former BP CEO) “I’d like my life back.” – but I am willing to continue making ‘sacrifices’ for our collective good.

  5. I walked past The Greenwich Free School this morning. Pupils were running around the outside space in groups without a mask in sight. I wonder how good their monitoring is? The Minister could do a lot more to keep the schools open with sensible social distancing measures and masks.

  6. Greenwich have now said they have been directed to open schools and “are in the process of seeking legal advice”. Maybe they should have taken legal advice before going on Twitter to announce it. I feel sorry for all the teachers and parents whose plans have been messed up by Greenwich’s leader.

    1. Yes. Those poor teachers and parents whose lives might be saved by closing schools early. They must be feeling really messed up right now……

  7. Face masks should be mandatory, all ages above 5! No matter how many vaccines they give people it will still come back. with all these dumb, selfish murderers (when you break it down it’s exactly what they are!) wandering around under the guise of ‘their freedom’!

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