Thursday 28 January 2021 / 10:30 PM Education / Kate Green

Government must set out a ‘credible delivery plan’ to lead a national effort on reopening schools

Labour is today (Friday) calling for the government to set out a “credible plan” and lead a national effort to reopen schools, following the Prime Minister’s announcement that he hopes for pupils to return to their classrooms from 8 March.

Labour is warning that setting out a date for pupils to be back in school with no plan to deliver is simply not good enough. Education Secretary Kate Green MP has written to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, calling for the government to “make safeguarding education a national priority”. She calls on the Education Secretary to publish a credible plan to deliver school reopening in March, setting out the measures the government will take to ensure the safe return of pupils to their classrooms. She pays tribute to education staff who have done an “extraordinary job in immensely difficult circumstances” urging the government to give them clarity about the full return to school.

The letter calls for the government to follow Labour’s proposal to vaccinate all education staff during February half term to prevent teacher absences further disrupting pupils’ education.

Alongside vaccinating school staff, Labour is calling for the government to:

  • Ensure schools are supported to deliver effective mass testing;
  • Introduce nightingale classrooms, to create space for social distancing and improving ventilation in classrooms

 

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Time and time again the government’s incompetence has let down children, families, and education staff. It is simply not enough to set out a date for school return with no plan to deliver.

“We need a national effort to get all children back into school with a credible delivery plan from the government which includes vaccinating school staff over half term and sets out measures to help make schools Covid-secure.

“The government must finally give parents, pupils and school staff clarity about their return to school.”