As more children return to school this week we would like to make it clear we share the concerns of the Government’s scientific advisors, SAGE, and the Association of Directors of Public Health: that as a country we are probably moving too soon, too fast and across too many ‘fronts’ at once in relaxing the lockdown.
We understand that some children and parents are keen to get back to school, but we believe that public health must come first.
We share the concerns of teaching staff, parents who have contacted us and started up a petition and others: that bringing significant additional numbers of children into schools when there isn’t yet an established decline in infection rates or an effective track and tracing system, is too soon.
The council has worked hard to support York schools to receive more children as safely as possible by the Government’s target dates. But we would have preferred to see clearer public advice from the council to schools, to continue for key workers’ and vulnerable children but not to open more widely so soon.
We have raised our concerns over recent weeks. Cllr Dave Taylor has called for cross-party scrutiny of the issue and Cllr Denise Craghill has asked for a report to go to the public Executive meeting on 25th June. We hope that our fears are unfounded, that by then we will see a more sustained reduction in infection rates and that the ‘slow and steady’ approach agreed by York schools will prove successful.
Cllr Rosie Baker
Cllr Denise Craghill
Cllr Andy D’Agorne
Cllr Dave Taylor