Today, Grant Shapps, Cabinet Minister for Christmas and Children’s Affairs, appealed to schools to allow Christmas activities to take place. Number 10, who insists that the events can go ahead despite recent cancellations due coronavirus concerns. 

This morning, Transport Secretary asked whether events such as Nativity Plays should be permitted to continue despite threats posed by Covid-19.

The emergence from south Africa of the Nu mutation has raised new concerns about the virus. This mutation has been called the “worst” variant of the virus.

A rising number of Covid cases has led to some headteachers banning parents from participating in events, or cancelling nativity plays. 

Plymouth School posted that they’d’sadly’ cancel their Christmas Eve party. However, others in Essex and Dorset followed suit with their nativity plays. 

LBC was however insistent that the nativity plays must ‘play on’ as there were not ‘two, then three rounds’ of vaccines to make it last Christmas. 

This was in reference to the fact that families split last Christmas and could not spend it together. However, many schools had to close and cancelled events due to infection.

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said Mr Shapps had made similar comments. He stated that cancellations are a matter for each school, but that Government guidance says that schools can continue holding events with the parents. 

The Department for Education published a blog on Friday that also argued that plays may be permitted, and that it was ‘one of the most beloved traditions’.  

Cabinet minister Grant Shapps today urged schools to let Christmas events happen as Number 10 insisted that they 'can go ahead', despite a string of cancellations in recent days amid coronavirus fears

Today, Grant Shapps, Cabinet Minister for Christmas and Children’s Affairs, asked schools to allow Christmas activities to take place. Number 10, who insists that the events can go ahead despite recent cancellations due coronavirus concerns, said today that schools should let them.

Mr Shapps told LBC this morning: ‘We did not go through two, now three rounds of vaccination and everything else to have to live out last Christmas again when we weren’t able to get together as we should have done, in the numbers we should have done, with our friends and families.

“So, of course they will take no doubt steps to make them safe. Ventilation and all the rest. People should be able and encouraged to meet up.

The PM’s spokesman later added: ‘It is a matter for individual schools to decide if they want to host nativity plays this year.

We have given our advice to schools to ensure that events are held where parents, children and others can be present. This includes school plays.

“Our guidelines state that there are no limits on the number of participants in these outdoor and indoor events. However, it’s up to individual schools. 

On the Department for Education website, a blog stated that “Christmas and nativity plays” are among our most treasured school traditions. 

One school, Lipson Co-operative Academy in Plymouth, said they were cancelling their 'Christmas Fayre'

Lipson Co-operative Academy of Plymouth announced that it was cancelling its ‘Christmas Fayre.

“Sadly, many of these vaccines had to be cancelled last year. But this year we’re at an entirely different stage and many are now benefiting from the protections offered by the vaccines. We hope that many more can be allowed to continue.

These people added, “Nativities can continue, plays and concerts may be performed, but the decision is up to schools and early-years to make if it’s possible to do so.”

“Our guidelines have not changed. Schools, nurseries, and other settings may continue to host events that parents can attend.

The article stated, however, that schools must take preventative measures to lower the danger of the virus. 

This week, parents and children have been disappointed at the decision by headteachers to cancel Christmas activities. 

Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth said Friday that they would cancel their Christmas Fayre.

One tweet stated: “In light of the rising #COVID19 case in schools and communities, we have decided to cancel our Christmas Fayre which was scheduled for Saturday November 27.”

“A difficult decision in many ways but the right choice. We can all stay safe and have a Spring Fayre. 

Parents across the globe reacted angrily to learning that Cleethorpes School, Lincolnshire was cancelling all Christmas activities and games earlier this week.

Reynolds Academy is a mixed elementary with 420 children aged 3-11 years. It was run by Tollbar Multi Academy Trust. 

A parent was upset and said, “Boris claims nothing has changed.” It is now back to staggered time, bubbles and dinners in the classroom, as well as queuing at designated restroom cubicles.

People are angry because of the mixed messages. Everyone is told that they need to get boosters and get their lives back on track.

“Parents are mad at their children because they received their Nativity roles on Friday and began practicing their lines. 

Some headteachers have this week banned parents from attending events or have cancelled fayres and nativity plays entirely due to rising Covid cases

A rising Covid case has led to some headteachers banning parents from certain events, or cancelling fayres entirely. 

School children said on the BBC's Newsround site that their nativity plays were being performed behind closed doors and instead being filmed for parents

BBC Newsround: Schoolchildren claimed on BBC Newsround that their Nativity plays were not being shown to parents and performed behind closed doors.

“But it’s all over after the weekend. The after-school clubs for music, dance and all other activities are over. 

The worst was that on Monday we were required to take time off to go to the Nativity. At the end of it all, they informed us it had been cancelled.

“The kids are devastated that there will be no Christmas party or play for them,” she said. It would have been the last Christmas party for some, and it was also last year’s.

Rebecca Scott, school principal said cancellation of Christmas festivities and introduction social distancing were due to the’significant increase’ in Covid cases. 

Whitmore Primary School in Essex announced that they were cancelling their in-person end of term performance last week. 

They said that each class would need to present its own play, which would then be recorded and made available for parents. This was to prevent the spreading of Covid, they claimed. 

Wyke Regis Primary Federation in Dorset has set Christmas activities to be ‘in-school’ only. Parents will also be able to share online all of the festivities. 

Cranborne Primary School in Hertfordshire also stated to parents that their children can only be able to see the Nativity online. 

Robin Walker, the schools minister, said yesterday that schools should stage nativity plays regardless of Covid concerns.   

Walker stated, “I would like to see schools continue to engage parents in a constructive way.

“Officially, they are allowed to go ahead as long as it is safe. Things like Nativity plays, end-of the-term shows, and other such events can be very important. It would be great to have as many people as possible moving forward. 

However, he said: “I am aware that schools will feel the need to take additional precautions.

“They should be able work with local directors for public health, who will have an understanding of the local environment. It’s possible that the situation will be very different from one area to another. I understand that. 

NAHT, the school leaders union said that some members of their organization had moved Nativities or festive celebrations to online video-only this year due to rising numbers of cases.

Mr Walker said: ‘I recognise – and I had to do that last year – in these circumstances sometimes they will feel it’s safer for the children to go ahead with a performance and the parents to watch it remotely. It’s part of our reality.

James Bowen (director of policy, NAHT) stated: “Schools want a room full of families enjoying the children performing their holiday show.

“But, there are so many factors to consider when choosing what they will do for the year.” The schools will pay attention to advice from the local health departments and authorities, and then take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations.

Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said that leaders will have to be open-minded about the challenges they face when addressing disruptions to school life.

“Some might be reluctant about cancelling shows. But the technology that played such an important role in education during the epidemic also allows schools to host virtual performances.