These are the Lancashire primaries staying closed amid Covid fears

A number of primary schools across Lancashire have taken the last minute decision to not reopen today over safety concerns.

Monday, 4th January 2021, 8:02 am
Updated Monday, 4th January 2021, 2:03 pm

Headteachers across the county have taken the decision to not reopen despite reassurances from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and local health officials yesterday.

This follows calls for a new national lockdown after the Government was accused by Labour of letting coronavirus “get out of control”.

Many of the schools will continue to open for key workers and vulnerable children.

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Lea Community Primary School is just one of the schools across the county that has decided to remain closed.

Here is the latest list of schools set to remain closed - we will update this as we get more information throughout the day:

>>Blackpool Fylde and Wyre:

Flakefleet Primary in Fleetwood was one of the first to announce the decision via social media and a letter to parents yesterday.

A post to the primary school's Facebook page said: "We are so incredibly sorry but we have no option but to only be open to key worker families from tomorrow.

"Most of us are parents and know how massively stressful and inconvenient this will be, we really hope you understand and are kind in your comments, we really had no choice."

Westcliff Primary Academy has confirmed this morning (January 4, 2021) that the school will remain closed, but will remain open to vulnerable youngsters and children of key workers.

The closure of St Chads Church of England School in Poulton-le-Fylde has also been confirmed. Acting headteacher Mr J. Leeming has informed us that the school will remain closed due to "staffing reasons" and is only open for for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils, with all other students learning remotely.

Thames Primary Academy in Severn Road, Blackpool is open to children of Key Workers and to vulnerable children only currently.

Larkholme Primary School has also confirmed that the school will remain closed from January 4, only remaining open for key workers and vulnerable students.

A letter sent to parents last. night said: "As a result of staff discussions with the unions it has been decided that we are unable to fully reopen on Monday 4th January. We apologise for not being able to give you information sooner but as you may be aware this has been a fast evolving situation.

"Therefore on Monday 4th January we will only be open to pupils who are vulnerable or children of critical key workers. All other pupils will be asked to access their education through the remote learning system."

Highfurlong School closed closed today (Jan 4), to allow the senior leadership team, chair of governors and staff to meet to discuss the current situation.

The school also confirmed that remote learning would be in place from Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

>>Preston, Chorley and South Ribble:

Catforth Primary School in Preston, said it will remain closed until January 11 over "health and safety considerations" due to the increasing rate of Covid infections in the area.

Lea Community Primary School in Preston has also expressed the same concerns, and will review the decision to whether to reopen on Friday, January 15, 2021.

Little Hoole Primary School is also listed on the LCC website, with the reason for the closure given as "safety".

In a letter to parents yesterday, headteacher Daniel Stammers said: "I am sure you are aware of the concerns that many in the education sector have with regards to schools reopening from tomorrow 4th January 2021. The concerns relate to the high number of cases of Covid-19, especially a new strain which is found in children more so than previously. There have been a number of inconsistencies with regards to controlling the spread of the virus, across the country which have concerned those in Education, and significant advice from various Unions has been shared with their members.

"I am writing to you this evening to announce that school will not be open tomorrow Monday 4th January to any pupils. We will aim to open in some capacity on Tuesday onwards and will let you know on Monday what we can offer."

Fishwick Primary School in Preston emailed parents last night to inform them of the school's plans to close.

The email from headteacher Vicki Conway, said: Due to uncertainty around the new variant of Covid-19 and how easily it is transmissible, and the lack of evidence from the government to assess the safety of pupils and staff, teaching unions and support staff unions are advising their members not to attend work if they feel unsafe returning to the work place under these conditions."

The email went on to reassure parents that teachers from the school would "email activities" by 10am on Monday (January 4), and remote learning would commence from Tuesday.

Whitefield Primary School in Penwortham announced the decision to remain closed to all children via the school's Facebook page last night (Sunday, January 3, 2021).

The message to parents read: "Mrs Foster regrets to inform you that school will be closed on Monday 4th January 2021 TO ALL CHILDREN.

"This is because we do not have enough staff to operate school safely due to the education union's advice on the safety of schools during this current covid19 situation and individual decisions on this matter."

Moor Nook Community Primary School has been added to the Lancashire County Council School Closure page, with the reason for the closure given as "Excessive Staff Absence". No more details are currently available.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School has also been added to the Lancashire County Council School Closure page, with the reason for the full closure given as "Safety, Excessive Staff Absence". No more details are currently available.

In a letter to parents Ribbleton Avenue Methodist Junior School confirmed it would remain closed for at least a week from January 4, 2021.

The letter to parents said: "Unfortunately, school is unable to open to the wider community from January 4th 2021 due to limited staffing. As you can imagine, this has been an incredibly stressful time for our whole school community and the decision to limit face to face teaching has not been taken lightly."

The school confirmed that it would continue to provide remote learning, learning packs for those with no internet access and meal packs for families in receipt of free school meals.

St. Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Avenham initially closed for two weeks this morning, but has since announced that as of January 5 the school will be open for key workers and as of January 11 will also be open to vulnerable children.

>>Lancaster and Morecambe:

Moorside Primary School in Lancaster has taken the decision to remain closed. According to the Lancashire County Council School Closures web page, the school will remain closed "as a result of advice from unions, in response to rising infection levels and a new strain of Covid 19".

The school will still be open for children of key workers and and vulnerable children, with online learning being provided for all other students.

The full closure of Dallas Road Community Primary School has been added to the Lancashire County Council School Closure online page.

The reason listed on the page said: "Industrial action, Excessive Staff Absence, 2/3 of teaching staff have written claiming S44 & S100 of health and safety legislation. Therefore there are insufficient staff to safely open the school. Provision will be made for key Workers children and those recognised as being vulnerable. Learning will be provided through a shared online platform."

Both Bowerham Primary and Nursery School and Trumacar School have confirmed they will remain closed. You can read more about the closures here.

Great Wood Primary School has also made the decision to remain closed over safety concerns. The school will remain open for key workers and vulnerable pupils

>>Burnley:

Heasandford Primary School has said it will be closed until further notice, apart from the children of key workers.

St Mary's RC Primary School said on its Facebook page that "after much consideration and discussions with staff, governors and union representatives, we have made the decision to keep school closed for all children (except those of key workers and vulnerable who came in previously) until Monday 18th January. Online learning will be available from Tuesday."

:: If you are aware of a school closure you would like adding to this list, please email [email protected]

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