Commenting on the government’s announcement that schools will close, Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), said:

“The challenges we face today are truly unprecedented. In closing schools, the government has – quite rightly – taken drastic steps to control the epidemic. It is not a decision that will have been taken lightly. But it is one that will have a particularly significant impact on low income children and young people, both in terms of their attainment and in accessing the wider support that schools provide.

“We must do all we can to alleviate the impact of today’s decision on those children. It is welcome the government has pledged to provide vouchers to make up free school meals. We need to join together to make sure disadvantaged pupils have access to high-quality support and learning in the coming months, as well as access to basic necessities and a safe place to be.

“The EEF will be publishing support and guidance in the coming days to help schools support all of their pupils, particularly those that need it most. We’ll also be working with organisations and schools across the sector, to make sure that they have the right programmes and support.

“The Sutton Trust is working with its partners to make sure the young people on our programmes have access to information online about university choices and applications, so that they don’t lose out without face-to-face support.

“The resilience of our teachers and schools never fails to inspire me. But it is only through a collective effort that we can and will get through these uncertain months.”

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