The fight for safe schools is just beginning: Prime Minister announces schools to be closed to all but priority groups until February half-term

Parents United PRESS, 4th January 2021

Addressing the nation this evening, Prime Minster Boris Johnson announces all schools in England are to close to all pupils except children of keyworkers and vulnerable children.

Further details include:

  • Early years provision is to remain open to all children
  • Alternative arrangements to be made for A-Level and GCSE assessments
  • Schools are currently scheduled to return at the beginning of February half term

The Prime Minister acknowledged that Covid transmission does occur in schools:

That’s not to say schools aren’t safe, however schools may act as vectors of transmission causing the virus to spread between households

Parents United believe that, due to lack of social distancing and adequate resourcing in schools, this lockdown is necessary precisely because schools are unsafe to operate in their current form whilst infection levels are high – particularly given the new variant of Covid-19, which SAGE advised the Government of on 22nd December.

We now call for the government to work with the education sector to design and organise measures within schools which will at last make them truly safe. Importantly, schools must not return to full capacity, or indeed at any greater capacity on an arbitrary date, but at a time when infections are appropriately low.

Parents United’s 5 Point Plan lays out a range of Sensible, Safe and Sustainable measures for schools, which is in line with our Traffic Light System and the work of Independent SAGE.

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