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Statement by the Minister for Education, Sport & Culture - 9 January 2021

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I would like to thank the headteacher at St Mary’s School for her help overnight.

I hope the child who has been tested positive remains well and would like to send my best wishes to them and their family.

As Education Minister and as a father I have always been concerned about the effects COVID-19 may have on our young people.

We know that they often have few if any symptoms if they catch the virus and are at no increased risk of spreading it.

But the anxiety and concern on our island affects them as well.

Their education was disrupted last year as we were forced to close schools and uncertainty over exams this summer hasn’t helped.

That is why the Chief Minister announced the circuit break lockdown this week.

We need to get on top of this outbreak, to eradicate the virus from our island again and continue the vaccination campaign already well underway.

I would like to thank all our teachers who have shown their usual true dedication and versatility in switching our service, so efficiently, to remote learning and a hub school system for vulnerable children and those of essential workers.

I’d also like to thank the students and parents for their positive feedback over the last few days.

But today emphasises the importance of all of us working together.

Please stay at home wherever possible and if you must go out wash your hands, remain socially distant and wear a mask in public if you can.

We will continue to keep those staff and students in school safe and through distance learning ensure pupils keep up with their school curriculum and are able to keep their education on track for when we reopen schools.