York Green Party supports call for more cautious approach to reopening of schools next week

York Green Party has lent their voice in support of the teachers, unions, and scientists that are urging the Government to reconsider their decision to go ahead with the reopening of schools next week, calling instead for learning to move online for all except vulnerable children and those of key workers.

Tom Franklin, Chair of the York Green Party says:

“We applaud the leadership taken by Brighton & Hove Council in using the precautionary principle to advise primary schools to delay reopening and to teach remotely. We stand in support of the teachers and children and their families who would be at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 with a return to in-person teaching.

“Covid-19 rates are on the rise and even the Government’s own advisors are saying we cannot get the virus under control with schools fully open, at a time when a new strain of the virus has emerged and the NHS is already close to being overwhelmed. The Government have too often made decisions too late and have already U-turned and agreed to keep schools closed in some Tier 4 areas, some of which have lower infection rates than parts of the North, including York.

“Whilst schools will make their own decision about reopening, there would be far more clarity and less stress for all concerned if there were a consistent approach of providing online learning (for all except vulnerable children and those of key workers) across the country for at least the first two weeks of term, in line with UNISON and NEU guidance. This would allow more time for key workers to be vaccinated and testing arrangements to be put in place for all schools. The decision has been left far too late and there will be much uncertainty tomorrow. Public health and the protection of frontline staff in schools must be a priority”

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