Coronavirus: Unions, Government Say “Stop Bickering” Over Reopening Schools | UK News


The government and teacher unions must “stop quarreling” and agree on a plan to bring children back to school “in a safe and gradual return,” said the Commissioner for Children.

Anne Longfield also called for “rigorous” COVID-19 tests on teachers, children and families to allay parents’ safety fears.

“I am disappointed that the debate over the return of some primary school students has become a quarrel between the government and the teachers’ unions,” she said.

“All parties must show a greater willingness to work together for the benefit of children. “

She added, “We cannot afford to wait for a vaccine, which may never happen, before the children go back to school.”

Longfield urged the sector to yearn for all children to return to school in some form before summer, and to use school buildings for summer schools and family support during the holidays.

His comments came after teachers’ unions asked for more government responses on the safety of reopening primary schools in England from June 1, after a meeting with senior science advisers on Friday.

The NASUWT teachers’ union said the evidence it had received from the government during the cross talks was “at best fragile.”

He added that the meeting “raised more questions than answers” – and claimed that number 10 did not provide any information “to change the widely held view that the evidence base for the opening of schools from June 1 is low ”.

Joe Anderson always

Mayor of Liverpool: ‘Schools will remain closed’

Meanwhile, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said he would only allow teachers and children to go back to school when it was “safe,” and Gateshead Council Labor Leader Martin Gannon, said loosening the lockdown rules was “frankly crazy.” “.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr. Anderson criticized comments by Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis Trust, who said it was “common sense” for students to return to school, especially for children from low-income families who see it as a place of “safety and security”.

He said: “I think it is an absolute disgrace and an insult to children, whether they live in disadvantaged communities or households.

“I will only allow schools to let children, teachers and support staff return to schools if it is safe. It has nothing to do with disadvantaged children or politics, it has everything to do with child safety. “

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He added that his views were based on “common sense” rather than “scientific models” and that he “was not looking for a confrontation”.

“In the end, I heard scientists give different opinions,” he said. “These same scientists told us that there was no problem with the nursing homes and the infection rates there. “

The British Medical Association also supported calls for the government to reconsider its plans, saying schools should not reopen in England until the number of cases is “much lower”.

In a letter to Kevin Courtney, deputy secretary general of the National Education Union (NEU), Dr. Chaand Nagpaul said the current evidence on the reopening of schools was “contradictory” and praised the union for encouraging caution about returning more students to school.

Discussions between unions and scientific advisers took place after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson unveiled plans to break the deadlock between government and unions with the Friday night talks.

The government plans to send the children to reception in years 1 and 6 in school as the country breaks free from isolation.

But NASUWT secretary general, Dr. Patrick Roach, said that no confirmation had been provided that the teachers were at low risk of getting it. COVID-19[female[feminine once the schools are reopened.

He said, “NASUWT remains clear that no school should reopen until it can prove that it is safe to do so.

“No clear information has been provided on the modeling that has been undertaken with regard to potential transmission rates when schools open more widely. Nothing in the meeting reassured the deeply worried and anxious school staff.

“We continue to press for answers to these questions and for clear government advice to schools to ensure that they take appropriate and reasonable measures to assess and mitigate the health and safety risks posed by COVID-19. “

Students wearing protective masks practice social distancing in the courtyard of the Flemish high school when it reopens in Brussels, because a small part of Belgian children return to their schools with new rules and measures of social distancing during the epidemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium, May 15, 2020. REUTERS / Yves Herman
Students wearing protective masks in a secondary school in Brussels, Belgium

Leeds City Council chief Judith Blake, who chairs the Local Government Association’s Children and Youth Council, supported Dr. Roach’s comments, telling Sky News: “An announcement was made without proper consultation with the chiefs of establishment. [There were] no evidence of scientific evidence that they say they succeeded in getting them to make the decision.

“What they are saying through the LGA is” show us the scientific evidence “. Explain why they chose reception, Year 1 and Year 6. What is the rationale behind this? “

She warned that because of the way the problem had been handled, the parents also did not have “confidence” that all measures had been taken to ensure that the children could return safely.


“No school of scientific evidence can reopen”

Williamson has since declared that the return of children to school is “vital” for their educational development.

He added, “Many schools are already taking steps to welcome their students back. I am grateful for their support.

“I want to reassure parents and families that we are giving schools, nurseries and other providers all the advice and support they will need to receive more children gradually and as early as June 1.

“This is why we have worked closely with stakeholders across the sector for the past seven weeks, including unions, and today we have organized a detailed briefing with scientific experts and medical. »»

Children’s Commissioner of England Anne Longfield will speak to Sky News around 8:00 am this morning.


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