Schools in England will be allowed to close a day early for Christmas to give teachers "a proper break" from identifying potential Covid-19 cases.

Schools minister Nick Gibb told MPs that schools could schedule an inset day next Friday to allow "six clear days" before Christmas Eve.

He said this would ensure teachers and heads do not have to engage with "track and trace issues" throughout the break.

Teachers unions have been calling for flexibility over school term dates.

Last month, the government had told schools in England not to change their Christmas holidays or close early this term in its Covid-19 Winter Plan.

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