Union leaders have asked the Department for Education (DfE) and the government to be transparent by releasing the number of teachers who have died due to coronavirus since the schools reopened. The leaders also wanted to know the number of hospitalization and infected teachers during that period.
The spread of coronavirus in the UK forced the schools to go into lockdown. However, months later, the government decided that it was time for students and teachers to return back to classes and continue with their education.
Union leaders call for transparency
The decision to reopen schools in September came amidst rising cases of coronavirus and led union leaders across the country to oppose the reopening of schools. However, their plea went unheard, until a few weeks ago, when the UK instituted another lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus due to rising local cases that were being recorded.
The recent announcement that teachers should return to school next week to continue with classes after weeks of lockdown has angered union leaders, who see the recent move as likely to be as chaotic as the first reopening of schools.
The union leaders, through the National Education Union joint general secretaries, have written to the school’s standard minister urging him to reconsider reopening of schools. If the reopening goes forward as planned, they requested the minister, Nick Gibb, to protect the clinically extreme vulnerable (CEV) from returning to schools next week and continue working from home.
The school union leaders have also asked for transparency from the government, asking them to release the number of teachers who have died from the virus since the schools reopened. The union leaders have also asked the government to provide more information about the number of teachers hospitalized and/or infected by the virus since the schools reopened.
The leaders also asked the government to consider releasing their coronavirus projections on school infections. They argued that this would help them prepare for the next phase of the coronavirus, helping them fight the virus.
In a joint letter addressed to Mr. Gibb, Mr. Courtney and Dr. Bousted, the joint general secretaries told reminded them of the issue they had raised that it was not yet safe for CEV to return to schools on December third when they were expected to return.
The letter continued by urging the school’s standard minister and the DfE to reconsider their decision asking CVE to report back to school and instead allow them to continue working from home. They also said that other vulnerable groups such as the disabled would also need extra risk assessment evaluation to ensure that the environment they are operating in is safe.
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