Parents have been urged to keep their children at home as school gates close across the borough this afternoon for an indefinite period.
A council spokesman said: “The school closures are vital in order to increase social distancing which is so important to reduce transmission of coronavirus. The message is clear – stay at home.
“We have offered guidance to all our schools on these matters and thank them for their brilliant efforts in working together to find the best way of getting through this unprecedented and difficult time.”
Meanwhile, the council has been working with schools across Bury to ensure that all schools will remain open to a number of vulnerable students and those whose parents are in key jobs.
The Government has defined these jobs as: health and social care; education and childcare; key public services; local and national government; food and other necessary goods; public safety and national security; transport; utilities, communication and financial services.
The spokesman added: “Schools are communicating all relevant information to their staff and families affected, and those children who are not staying at home should go to their normal school.
“We are making arrangements to ensure that packed lunches and meal vouchers will be provided for those attending school, and those who would ordinarily be eligible for free school meals.
“We have also been in contact with all Early Years providers, assessing how many will remain open and how many children they will be able to care for.
“All of our staff are aware that they may be deployed to support across schools and settings as the weeks progress.”
Parents/carers from key worker groups who require information about school place availability should email the admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 253 5670 and leave a message.
The Government has produced a FAQ about school closures for parents and carers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
Further information about services in Bury affected by the coronavirus will be on the council’s website: bury.gov.uk
Press release issued: 20 March 2020.