|Volume 50 Number 18, May 16, 2020||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
Unions with members in the education sector on May 13 published a joint statement on the safe reopening of schools in England.
Wednesday's statement follows a longer statement to the Secretary of State on Friday, May 8, which set out in full detail the principles and tests necessary for the safe reopening of schools. It is signed by AEP, GMB, NAHT, NASUWT, NEU, NSEAD, Prospect, UNISON and Unite.
Full text of the May 13 statement:
"We all want schools to re-open, but that should only happen when it is safe to do so. The government is showing a lack of understanding about the dangers of the spread of coronavirus within schools, and outwards from schools to parents, sibling and relatives, and to the wider community.
"Uniquely, it appears, school staff will not be protected by social distancing rules. 15 children in a class, combined with their very young age, means that classrooms of 4 and 5-year olds could become sources of Covid-19 transmission and spread. While we know that children generally have mild symptoms, we do not know enough about whether they can transmit the disease to adults. We do not think that the government should be posing this level of risk to our society.
"We call on the government to step back from the 1st June and work with us to create the conditions for a safe return to schools based on the principles and tests we have set out."
The principles and tests include (see full statement from May 8, linked to below):
Statement to the Secretary of State for Education on 8 May: The full statement setting out the principles and tests can be found here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/unions-set-out-needs-safe-reopening-schools-letter-education-secretary