Dr Camilla Kingdon, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:
Early evidence is telling us that Omicron is no further risk to children and young people than other previous COVID-19 variants. Schools are vital to the broader wellbeing of children and young people, providing social interaction and recreational activities as well as a range of services from vaccinations to mental health and wellbeing support.
As such, the Government’s commitment to the underlining principle of keeping schools open is positive, and we urge it to keep the health and wellbeing of children and young people front of mind when policymaking on the return to school.
Any national or local interventions in schools should always be supported by good evidence, be entirely proportionate and adequately resourced to support continuing education for children and young people.
We published a statement in December 2021 setting out our stance that in principle the best thing for children and young people is for schools to be the last places to close and first places to open.