Coronavirus: Tory MP Mark Harper wants England’s schools open before 8 March

A Tory MP is calling for England’s schools to re-open as soon as possible, saying closures were affecting pupils’ mental health, education and future prospects.

Boris Johnson has said schools in the country could open from 8 March, although it “depends on lots of things going right”.

But Mark Harper, who chairs the lockdown sceptic Covid Recovery Group of backbenchers, tells BBC News he wants the government to follow in the footsteps of Scotland, who will see some pupils returning after the February half-term.

He says the harm to children in not attending school is “really quite significant” and he wants the government to “try very hard” to get them open before 8 March, starting with primary schools.

Covid in Scotland: How will the phased return to school work?

Covid: English schools could return 8 March ‘at the earliest’ – PM

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