I and colleagues just signed this petition from @NEUnion & @unisontheunion to keep families and schools safe.
We must #MakeSchoolsSafe to #ProtectCommunities We note that coronavirus cases were increasing rapidly amongst school pupils and college students towards the end of last term. They had the highest rates of infection of all the age bands.We also note the increased evidence of infection passing from students to parents and to staff during December.
Not to move to online learning for a period is risking the health of families and risks further chaos for schools and communities as children and staff are sent home to isolate in an unplanned way.
Such a chaotic situation impacts on the most disadvantaged the hardest. We need to put safety and education back on track.
We call on the Government to use this period of online learning to: establish the rate of transmission of the new variant of the virus amongst school pupils and college students and from them to others at home – it is important to keep families safe,establish measures to keep schools and colleges more Covid-secure such as the introduction of proper mass testing with adequate time and resource to ensure the effective roll-out of testing; the vaccination of staff, starting with those at highest risk; and the establishment of rotas for attendance at school or college, wherever possible, to allow vital social distancing in crowded classrooms and buildings.