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This briefing paper is one of a collection of Commons Library briefings on the Coronavirus Bill (the Bill). It deals with the sections of the Bill relating to education and childcare. The other briefing papers, dealing with other parts of the Bill and general background, are available on the Commons Library website (Coronavirus Bill (Overview).

The UK Government has stated that the coronavirus outbreak presents “particular challenges and risks to those operating in an educational or childcare context.” This is both because of the need or tendency for people to learn in groups and because of the harmful impact that a break in education may have on a young person’s development and progression to further study or employment.

What is in the best interests of those in education will, the Government believes, “vary according to the level of risk which presents itself in a particular place at a particular time.” As a result, the Bill seeks to provide the Government with powers to enable to it to “react flexibly to manage differing levels of risk.”[1]

The Bill includes three powers relating to education:

  • a power to require or direct the temporary closure of an educational institution or registered childcare provider;
  • a power to make specified types of directions in connection with the running of the education and registered childcare systems; and
  • a power to dis-apply or vary specified existing requirements contained in or arising out of education and childcare

Further information is available in the Explanatory Notes (Bill 122-EN) and Impact Assessment for the Coronavirus Bill, which were published on 19 March 2020.

See also:

[1]    Coronavirus Bill Explanatory Notes, paras 70-1.


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