We are told, of course, that it will happen and plans have been drawn up in order that the nation should survive it. I have to say that it seemed from the documents here that the state will be remarkably reluctant to close schools, for even if advised to do so by the medics, and the DfES passes on this advice to the schools, the DfES intends to leave it up to the board of governors to actually decide when to shut the gates.
Yeah right: in this situation, I really want my children to be left in the hands of someone with, in all probability, almost no medical expertise whatsoever, but who may well be rather concerned to please the higher-ups, who in turn will be rather concerned, given that they seem to think the following:
"If schools close, is there a duty to provide alternative education?
Local authorities have a duty to provide education for children of compulsory school age who are out of school. Schools would remain open to staff, who could set and mark work, but getting it to and from pupils is an issue that will have to be addressed. We are looking into whether and how DfES can advise or assist local authorities, and will provide more guidance later this year. "
Hmm. Well of course, one way out of this dilemma for them, (which could presumably land them in court for failing to provide most of the schooling population with an appropriate education) would be to say that the parent is responsible for provision of education under these circumstances, and that therefore the child is effectively home educated.
Yeah, that would seem to solve the problem, though maybe not, if they decide to go ahead and make themselves liable for monitoring all home educators, for you can be damn sure that given that home educators already resent LA officers on their doorsteps, they won't be in much of a mind to let anyone in, come the year of a flu epidemic.