image captionIt’s looking more likely that parents in England “will have many more weeks of home-schooling”, the Guardian says, after the government “refused to commit” to reopening schools “even after the Easter holidays”. The Tory MP Robert Halfon tells the paper that the state “must do everything possible” to reopen them after the February half-term – even “if it means priority vaccinations” for staff.
image captionA dozen Tory MPs are backing parents’ calls to reopen schools to help the “forgotten victims” of the pandemic, says the Daily Telegraph. They say that the closures have rendered education an “optional extra”, that the disparity between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils is growing “by the day” and that pressure on parents to juggle work and teaching is “simply becoming too much”. A snowy scene in London is placed above the story – its caption noting that some police forces dispersed sledgers on Sunday.
image captionA picture of children using shopping bags as sleds greets Metro readers. The paper leads with the same story about schools – which, borrowing a 1970s lyric, it says are “out ’till Easter'”. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he “hoped” children could return before April, but it depends on infection rates as the government is a “long, long, long way” from being able to lift the current lockdown, it reports.
image captionThe children at the centre of the policy debate are the “lost generation”, according to the Sun. It says there is “fury” among MPs and parents and urges Prime Minister Boris Johnson to get kids “vacc” to school. Mr Hancock, it reports, “hinted teachers will be vaccinated as a priority – but not before Easter”.
image captionThe Daily Mail leads with another instalment of its campaign to help get laptops to pupils who are struggling to learn from home while schools are closed. It says a poll reveals that a “third of families don’t have enough computers for home study”. The campaign, it says, has raised £250,000.
image captionDozens of people are pictured out and about in the snow at London’s Primrose Hill on the front page of the Times. The paper’s top story says the chancellor has backed plans to “force everyone entering Britain to quarantine in a hotel” to “prevent new coronavirus strains jeopardising” mass vaccination. The prime minister is due to make a decision on tightening border rules today, the Times says – and two senior government sources tell the paper that he was becoming “more swayed” to take action.
image captionThe row over health officials’ decision to extend the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine in England rumbles on across the front page of the i. The paper points out there are “calls for clarity”, but Prof Anthony Harnden, the deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, says the strategy may give protection to the population as a whole.
image captionThe Daily Express strikes an optimistic tone, telling readers that the distribution of 493,013 vaccinations in a day in the UK are “half a million reasons to be cheerful”. They represent “a huge boost” in the country’s “fight” against the virus, it says. To the right of the rather cheerful headline, a girl is pictured throwing a snowball to the camera.
image captionAnd away from coronavirus, the Financial Times leads with Poland asking the EU to “step up sanctions” against Russia after the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. President Andrzej Duda tells the paper that it’s the only way to “force international law to be observed… without rifles, cannons and bombs”. The paper notes that the EU is “deeply divided on policy towards the Kremlin” but the clampdown on protesters on Saturday has “raised the stakes” as foreign ministers prepare to discuss their response today.