WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

The return to school timetable is unsafe

22 May, 2020

• MANY are of the view for schools to be open for children and young people as soon as possible.

However I am concerned that the government’s plan for a wider opening of schools is not safe for pupils, parents, school staff and our community.

The government has put forward a reckless timetable by proposing the phased return of primary school pupils by June 1.

It puts immense pressure on schools and it is simply not feasible. The wider opening of schools should only happen when it is safe to do so.

It is evident the government is trying to shift the responsibility for safety in schools and community health, during a health pandemic, onto individuals headteachers without a safe national framework.

There is no recommendation for staff to have personal protective equipment, PPE, or any social distancing measures put in place. So how are staff and students protected?

Moreover, clinically vulnerable people are expected to work in schools if they do not meet the “extremely vulnerable” group.

The Department for Education’s chief scientific adviser admitted the government’s plan could risk spreading coronavirus since there is a “low degree of confidence” that children transmit the virus less than adults.

There should be full disclosure of the advice relating to the reopening of schools and if this advice is linked with any scientific evidence or data.

It does not make sense to be planning towards a return from a certain date.

It would be far better to be working towards getting safe conditions in place that would permit a safe “wider opening”. This is what other nations, including Scotland and Wales are doing.

Currently parents and careers are not legally obliged to send those in their care to school. I certainly wouldn’t until it is safe to do so.

Teachers and staff in schools want our children and colleagues to be safe, not martyrs!

ANTHONY CAPRIOLI
Address supplied

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