Hundreds of families across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have backed calls to close schools in Tier 4 areas.
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and Cheshire East joined over 75 per cent of the country in Tier 4 coronavirus restrictrions as of 12.01am today (December 31).
This means families are now urged to stay at home as non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants, and the beauty industry among others are forced to close their doors.
But schools and other child care facilities are allowed to stay open.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson yesterday revealed there would be staggered term starts in January.
But over 125,000 people across the United Kingdom have now called for schools to remain shut in Tier 4 areas.
A petition started by Katie Anderson said: “Schools can be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. Children are mingling at schools and returning to families who are potentially vulnerable, keeping rates high.
It’s only been since schools opened that infection rates have been high in Kent, and keeping them open may keep it high.
“Especially with this new strain of the virus, we need to be making the move to online schooling and actually keep people safe.”
The petition has currently received the backing of 30 residents in Stoke-on-Trent Central, 42 in Stoke-on-Trent North, and 33 in Stoke-on-Trent South.
There have also been 32 supporters from the Staffordshire Moorlands, 33 in Newcastle, 37 in Stone, and 37 in Stafford.
Over the county line in Cheshire East there have been 35 in Congleton as well as 40 in Crewe and Nantwich.
As the petition has crossed the 100,000 signature boundary there will now be a debate in the House of Commons about the issue.
The petition can be found here.