London councils defy government order and offer schools option to close

Redbridge Council has said it will “support” local schools if they choose to move to online learning from Wednesday – despite the government threatening legal action and saying they must stay open.

Waltham Forest has also said it will back schools if they “make decisions that safeguard the health and safety of pupils, teachers and their families”.

The two boroughs, both in the east of the city, have the second and fourth-highest COVID-19 infection rates in the capital – 443.9 per 100,000 and 409.4 per 100,000 respectively.

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