Coronavirus: schools closed "for the foreseeable future" from this weekend

SCHOOLS across Rotherham will close at the end of tomorrow "for the foreseeable future" in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

Only children of "key workers" will go in for lessons on Monday.

Schools supporting these key workers — believed to include care workers and frontline NHS staff — are also expected to remain open during the Easter holidays.

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The Government also announced all GCSE and A-level exams across England and Wales would be postponed.

Head Paul Silvester was the first in Rotherham to send his pupils home — describing the decision as “extremely difficult”.

Newman School in Kimberworth closed on Tuesday — three days before the end of lessons for most youngsters today.

Mr Newman, whose school has 130 young people with special educational needs, said: “We have many pupils with significant health issues and high levels of anxiety and some were told to self-isolate from the weekend, it’s simply not sensible to remain open as large number of parents kept their children off school as a precaution.”

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St Bernard’s Catholic High School sent home Year 7 to 10 on Wednesday, while Year 11s were told to attend until the end of the week. The school said the decision was made with “great sadness”.

Writing to parents, principal Siobhan Kent said: “My absolute priority is to protect our staff and student community. 

“We have a number of staff and students who fall into vulnerable health groups as well as a number of staff and students who are self-isolating.”

Dinnington High and Brinsworth Academy were also moved to closures before the Government’s announcement on Wednesday.

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At Dinnington, parents of pupils eligible for free school meals were being sorted with a supermarket voucher for food to make lunches at home. 

All schools had prepared for work to be sent home or put online.