The Prime Minister has just announced that schools across the country will close for most pupils from Friday until further notice.

The news came this afternoon after number of deaths due to the coronavirus reached 104. The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 102,626.

Earlier today, Scotland and Wales had already announced that schools would close from the same day, while schools in Northern Ireland closed to pupils today.

Many schools have already been been preparing for a shut down for, with some creating homework packs or setting up ways of working online.

Speaking about the pandemic at today’s press news conference at Downing Street, Boris Johnson said: “We think now that we must apply further downward pressure with that upward curve by closing the schools.”

He thanked teachers and head teachers and said that by looking after children of key workers, such as NHS staff, they “will be a critical part of the fight back” against coronavirus.

But he cautioned that children “should not be left” with grandparents or others in groups vulnerable to contracting coronavirus.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that exams and assessments such as SATs, GCSE, AS- and A-Level would not be held this academic year.

More than 600,000 people had signed a parliamentary petition calling for schools and colleges to be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, more than anything else the government needs to concentrate on ensuring that children in families facing food poverty are fed properly.