The National Education Union (NEU), Britain’s largest teachers’ union, said the move could help the government “take control of the testing, tracking and tracing system, and reduce cases. to allow the system to function better ”.
The call comes after data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there was an estimated average of 27,900 new coronavirus cases per day between October 2 and 8.
Live coronavirus updates from UK and around the world
Kevin Courtney, NEU Deputy Secretary General, said: “Principals, teachers and school staff understand the educational impact of this, but we also understand that in exponential epidemics early action is essential.
“Acting now can prevent more disruption later. ”
The highest COVID-19[feminine[feminine Infection rates in England continue to be among young adults and high school students, according to ONS data released on Friday.
Mr Courtney said: ‘This should come as no surprise to the Prime Minister or the Department of Education – scientists have always said that high school students transmit the virus as much as adults. ”
He added: “We warned them that because we have among the largest class sizes L’Europe we have overcrowded classrooms and hallways without effective social distancing.
“Our classrooms often have poor ventilation leading to airborne transmissions, and in many areas we also have overcrowded school transport where children mingle through the bubbles of grade groups.
:: Subscribe to the daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
“These children live in families and are part of communities, so even though they themselves have few or no symptoms, they are still participating in the spread of the virus to others, including teachers and other members of the school. school staff. ”
The NEU also called on the government to guarantee the expansion of free school meals for disadvantaged students if a circuit breaker occurs over the mid-term period.
Scientists have recommended locking of the circuit breaker, but this approach was not adopted by the Prime Minister.
Mardi, Sir Keir Starmer called a circuit breaker lockout in England, accusing the government of having “lost control” of the coronavirus pandemic.