Teaching unions respond to plans to reopen schools more widely in September

Teaching unions have expressed concerns over reports the government is to reopen schools more widely in September.

NEU joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said: “Leaks of proposals for school re-opening in September are not helpful. Schools and parents need to see from government a clearly thought-out plan outlining the scientific reasoning behind a return for all pupils. This is essential to reassure families and school staff that whatever the return to school looks like it is as safe as possible for the whole school community.

 “There will be serious challenges ahead and they need to be dealt with seriously. Head teachers need to have a clear idea of what they are planning for. It is essential that government speaks to the teaching unions and education professionals to ensure we have a coherent strategy that is workable for September and includes planning for any second spikes or regional outbreaks that may occur.”

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “The NASUWT wants to see schools open to all children as soon as it is safe to do so.

“However, we remain concerned that the government continues to set arbitrary dates for the return of pupils to schools, without providing the necessary evidence that its plans will not undermine public health or the health and safety of children, young people and staff in schools.

“Ministers have yet to demonstrate how their plans to increase the size of classroom ‘bubbles’ will ensure the health and safety of pupils and staff or provide a basis for effective teaching and learning to take place.

“Schools and colleges are also workplaces and the government must take seriously the concerns of teachers who must be assured that their health and safety is not being put at risk.”

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