SCHOOLS across England will close on Friday afternoon for most pupils until further notice.
The Government said the action was aimed at slowing down the spreading of the coronavirus.
Plans will be put in place for children of NHS staff, police officers and delivery drivers to ensure they can continue their work during the COVID-19 crisis.
The shutdown also covers nurseries and colleges.
Provision is being made for children who receive school meals to ensure they are properly fed while they are not at school.
Exams will not take place during May and June.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanked the teachers and headteachers for their work and said by helping look after the children of key workers they would be helping in the fight against coronavirus.
Sarah Wilkins, Director of Education and Early Help at Worcestershire Children First, said following the statement from the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, the authority was working on a plan going forward.
“We have heard the announcement that from Friday afternoon on March 20, early years settings, schools, sixth-form and FE Colleges along with independent and boarding schools will be closed until further notice except for the children of key workers and the most vulnerable children.
“We are working with education leaders across all sectors in Worcestershire to identify, plan and to respond to this evolving situation.
“We will issue further information and advice to our education communities and to parents and families tomorrow.”
The Prime Minister said children should not be left with grandparents and older people in high risk groups when it came to COVID-19.