AS schools close across the country to stop the spread of Covid-19, parents were at the school gates for a final time this academic year with very mixed opinions.

Parents picking their children up at the Education Village, in Darlington, yesterday praised the decision and the communication they had received from the school in the days leading up to the closure.

Stephane Willems said: “A lot of people are already taking their kids off school but this is final now. I think it has come at the right time and at least a decision has been made and we now know instead of being left uncertain.

"The kids have to come first when making decisions like this. Unfortunately I think it will be a shock to many kids that like school but it will be welcomed by those who don’t. My kids will be playing in the garden for three weeks.”

John Cameron who was picking his grand-daughter up said: “We’re going to look after the kids to give my daughter a break – she has another baby and cannot manage both, especially for what seems like it could be a long time. My grand-daughter will be playing in the garden but I think they will miss going to the play area. I hope it doesn’t last too long its all a bit up in the air right now.”

Ellie Smith and Laura Woods were both looking forward to spending more time with their children.

Mrs Smith said: “The communication has been great and they have done a fantastic job of letting us know about closures and this is certainly the right time to do it.”

Mrs Woods added: “We’ve been told it will be about 12 weeks but its for their own good so I’m happy.”

However, there was still some uncertainty regarding the children of those deemed by the government as key workers. The children of the key workers will be attending schools again on Monday but some feel questions have still be left unanswered.

Gaynor Parkinson, a nursery worker, said: “I don’t think its going to make a difference. I think there will still be a lot of kids turning up on Monday as parents won’t be able to look after them.

"My kids are gutted they have to go in because of my job. I have to be in for the kids that will be there on Monday until the holidays, but I am still not sure how it will work for the rest of term. It’s a bit up in the air but when we go back on Monday things will get back into place.”