SCHOOLS and colleges in England have been asked to shift to remote learning as part of a third national lockdown announced by the Prime Minister.

In his Monday evening address, Boris Johnson announced the biggest changes to schooling since the first lockdown nearly 10 months ago as part of harsher restrictions.

The plans will be in place until at least February half-term.

Vulnerable children and those of key workers will still be able to go to colleges, primary and secondary schools, and Mr Johnson said nurseries and other early years settings will remain open in England.

Mr Johnson also said it would not be “possible or fair” for all exams to go ahead as normal in the summer, and added that, “The Education Secretary will work with Ofqual to put in place alternative arrangements”.

Gavin Williamson will address a recalled House of Commons on Wednesday to update MPs on how pupils will be assessed.

The latest guidance on the return to universities splits students into two groups.

Those who are on courses in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, education or social work will be returning to campus for the spring term and be tested twice or self-isolate for 10 days.

All other students are being told to remain where they are and will start their term online, with distance learning in place “until at least mid-February”.

Last weekend primary schools had expected to reopen to pupils from Monday with Years 11 and 13 students taking part in remote learning and returning to the classroom on Monday, January 11.

Requests for volunteers to administer Covid-19 tests to pupils at Norton College have now been postponed.

However, head teacher Tim Johnson said they had been overwhelmed by the number of people who had come forward to offer to support.

He said: “We will be responding to each of these volunteers over the next few days and it has really reinforced the sense of a community spirit and the family feel that underpins the success of Norton College.”

Mr Johnson said they were awaiting further guidance over GCSE and A-level exams.

“The government will have to find a way of awarding grades, and it is likely that there will be assessments of some sort, based upon the taught curriculum,” he said.

“We will continue to teach examination course content remotely in preparation for this.

“It really is vital that Year 11 and Year 13 students continue to engage with this teaching in order that they are fully prepared for any assessments that might be used to determine grades in the summer.”

Meanwhile, data from NHS England yesterday (Tuesday) shows the total number of deaths related to the virus at York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is 385. The trust includes York Hospital and Scarborough.

There have been a further 66 deaths in the North East and Yorkshire region.

Nationally, a further 582 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 52,395.