Doncaster teachers union's backing for 'cautious' approach to schools returning

Doncaster’s teachers are backing a ‘cautious’ approach to re-opening borough schools after the Government warned there was no guarantee of all children returning before Easter.

Monday, 25th January 2021, 4:45 pm

MPs have called for a "route map" for re-opening amid concerns for children's education.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he understood why people wanted a timetable but he did not want to lift restrictions while the infection rate was "still very high". He would not guarantee schools would reopen before April's Easter break.

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The Government has not yet announced when schools will re-open

Fiona Campbell, Doncaster branch and district secretary of the NEU teachers union, backed the ‘cautious’ approach.

She said: “We all want schools to be open fully, but they must be opened when it is safe to do so, and when the conditions are right to keep schools open sustainably. It is critical that schools and parents are kept informed and given as much information as possible, as soon as possible, to avoid the chaos of the stop-start approach taken so far. However, we recognise the difficulties involved in setting a timetable around reopening, and believe the right approach is to continually monitor and assess the situation.

“It is important to remember Doncaster schools are still open for those who need them and providing education for those at home. The Prime Minister is right to be cautious whilst infection rates remain high. We urge the Government and leaders to protect schools and the wider school communities by following the Joint Union safety advice.”

Conservative Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher MP added: “We need to do everything we can to get children back into school as soon as possible, and I am confident this is the Government’s objective.

"As the Prime Minister made clear, just as schools were the last to close, they should be the first to reopen. As we start cautiously lifting restrictions in the months ahead, it should be a priority for educational institutions to reopen before anything else.

"This, I believe, is the Government’s view as well. While the Government looks at a range of options to facilitate the reopening of schools, it is down to everyone to adhere to the rules so case numbers continue to fall.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.