Teaching Unions Slam Government Plans To Reopen Schools

Teaching Unions Slam Government Plans To Reopen Schools
CREDIT: File Photo, EWN

TEACHING UNIONS slam the government’s plans to reopen schools on March 8

Several teaching unions in the UK poured cold water on the government’s plans to reopen schools when they met on Sunday, February 14, questioning why No 10 had decided to abandon the idea of a ‘phased’ return. Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his commitment to have all primary and secondary school students back in the classrooms on March 8, and has said that he is ‘optimistic’ about the plans.

However, not everyone agrees with Mr Johnson’s positive outlook and teaching unions have warned that relaxing restrictions too quickly could spell disaster.

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Geoff Barton, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: ‘There is no point in bringing all children back at once if this causes a spike in coronavirus infection rates which forces another lockdown. It is vital all options are kept open.’

Steve Chalke, of the Oasis Academies Trust, described the government’s timeline as ‘impossible’. He told The Sunday Times: ‘We should be driven by scientific data, not dates.’

In the meantime, the Department of Education has taken a more guarded approach, and spoke of ‘an expansion of numbers’ on March 8, rather than a full return to normal. On their blog, the Department wrote:

‘We hope to be able to start welcoming back more pupils from 8 March at the earliest.

‘It is important to reiterate that we do not see this as a ‘return to school’ but more of an expansion of the numbers of pupils already in school.’


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