ROBIN Walker insists educational settings should stay open amid concerns schools and colleges are contributing to the spread of coronavirus.

In a poll conducted by the Worcester News 62 percent of the 1.8 thousand people that responded said schools should close.

However Worcester MP Robin Walker said that closing schools would not be the right thing to do.

He said: “I am aware that the bubbles in Worcester have risen in the past week, and the numbers are rather higher than I would like. However, 80 percent of pupils are still in school, socialising with peers and getting an education.

“This to me suggests the bubble system is working. It is allowing us to take the necessary precautions when safety is at risk whilst also ensuring children do not miss out on vital educational and emotional support which is provided at school.

“I believe school should stay open. Public Health have issued a statement that states schools are the safest place for our children to be. I have no doubt that school teachers and staff are doing the best they can in extremely challenging circumstances, and we must continue to support their hard work by wearing masks and socially distancing on the school run.”

Ed Senior, head teacher of Worcester Sixth Form agrees that educational settings should stay open, although 16 students and one member of staff have tested positive at the college.

He said: "If students don’t have face to face lessons their education suffers. Their mental and physical well-being also suffers and the impact of these negative effects is greatest for vulnerable learners.

"Having schools and colleges open and delivering face to face lessons means that there will be increased interaction between people and consequently increased risk of transmitting the virus. However the risks to young people in attending school and college are limited and they are far outweighed by the benefits.

"At Worcester Sixth Form College we are committed to doing everything we can to keeping everyone as safe as possible. In response to rising infection rates across the County we implemented a circuit break before half-term with students having a week of remote learning.

"We are also supporting those students who have family members who are vulnerable and I have been impressed with the willingness of students to comply with our COVID security measures.

"It takes commitment and courage to work in a busy school or college during the pandemic and everyone’s job is made harder by the restrictions needed. Those people working in schools and colleges across Worcestershire make this commitment because they care passionately about the education and well-being of young people, they want to support their colleagues, and they want to play their part as key workers."