Coronavirus: Schools and college closure from – 23-03-2020
Schools and colleges to close to students to reduce the spread of Covid-19
Jersey’s Education Minister has made the decision to close the majority of Government of Jersey
schools and colleges to students from Monday 23 March, to support efforts to contain the spread of
Students’ last day in their school or college will be Friday, 20 March with two weeks of closure
rolling into the two weeks of Easter holidays, meaning the earliest estimated return date for pupils
in Jersey is Monday 20 April.
The Children, Young People, Education and Skills department will use this month to determine if
further closures are needed, based on health-led advice, and parents, carers and students will be
advised in a timely manner should this become necessary.
The Minister’s decision to close schools and colleges has been made in direct consultation with the
Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health and is fully supported by the Emergencies Council.
All students affected by the school closures will be continuing their learning at home with work set
by teachers. Schools will be open to staff and for some selected year groups, principally years 11
and 13 who have summer exams. Exam students in other years will also be accommodated. Secondary
schools are making arrangements for minimal disruption to these students, but if there is any then
parents will be notified directly. In conjunction with this work, we are closely monitoring the
situation with the various examination boards.
We are also exploring remaining open for some children attending specialist settings with more
details being announced later this week.
The Minister is recommending that private schools and early years and childcare settings should also
follow the Government of Jersey health care advice.
Parents and carers will be urged to support their children to practice social distancing to help
avoid the spread of Covid-19 which includes restrictions on play dates, parties and all
out-of-school activities and gatherings. This advice will be published on gov.je shortly.
We are also working across Government to see if we can organise childcare for some essential
workers. Wider work is continuing to ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable children and adults.
Minister for Education, Senator Tracey Vallois, said: “The decision to close schools has not been
taken lightly. This will clearly have consequences for students, their families and the wider
community hence our considerations around targeted support and advice. This is a proactive health
protection measure, taken in the best interest of the public and wider island community to assist in
the effort to contain the threat of Covid-19.
“I appreciate this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. However, I cannot emphasise enough
the importance of reinforcing the messaging around health advice from the Government of Jersey,
including regular handwashing, and to read the new advice for parents and carers, when available.
“Abiding by these measures will save lives.”
The Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills will remain fully operational and
will continue to provide support at this time, working closely with health officials. The situation
is being kept under continuous review.