London schools: Khan confirms primary schools to remain closed
On Friday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that all London primary schools will remain shut next week as the capital battles with high levels of coronavirus infections. Most other primary schools in England are expected to still open on Monday while secondary schools will reopen on a staggered basis, with exam year pupils returning on January 11 and others returning a week later.
The Government is facing calls from teaching bodies to push back the reopening of schools to protect pupils and staff.
Sixty-two percent of respondents (1,839) said yes while 38 percent (1,113) said no.
Just 22 people (less than one percent) said they didn’t know.
In comments, some readers expressed their anger at the Government’s decision to force schools to reopen in parts of England which have high Covid rates.
Boris Johnson has been told to keep all schools closed in a poll
Some readers feared classrooms would be ‘superspreader’ gathering places
One person said: “Schools are superspreaders!
“If the teachers are that serious about it, why don’t they just go on strike for two or three weeks?”
A second reader said all schools across England should remain closed after the Christmas holidays because it is “not safe for kids or teachers” to return.
And a third said: “It’s not about making teachers work or not.
“It’s about whether it’s safe for kids to go to school, whether they should be going and then bringing infections back into homes with them.”
READ MORE: Government must be careful not to risk educational poverty with school
Schoolchildren line up to wash their hands
Others said while they felt schools could reopen safely if everyone abided by social distancing rules, they feared the rulebreakers would have a heavy impact on others.
They said: “Most people are sensible but unfortunately you have the ones that won’t listen and a virus loves those.”
Others argued that schools outside the capital should be allowed to reopen as scheduled on Monday.
One person wrote: “No, keep them open as there is no evidence whatsoever that shows children are spreading this disease.”
Schools closed: When are schools reopening where I live? [ANALYSIS]
Schools closed: Which areas are closing schools? [INSIGHT]
London schools CLOSED: Primaries in capital will remain shut [EXPLAINED]
Schools in London will remain closed after the Christmas break
Pupils in Huddersfield wearing masks
Another said if other key workers had to put themselves at risk of catching Covid, teachers should also.
They said: “No, the schools should not close down! The unions make me sick!
“What makes teachers any different to any other profession? Police, fire service, NHS, supermarkets, care homes etc.
“They all have to go to work and provide these services,
Gavin Williamson grilled on reopening of primary schools
“The Schools need to operate like everywhere else. If they close the schools stop their pay and make the unions pay.”
On Saturday the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) joined calls to delay the reopening of schools, calling for face-to-face teaching to be restricted to only vulnerable children and those of key workers until at least January 18.
Their intervention came after the National Education Union (NEU), which represents the majority of teachers, called for all English primary schools to move online and advised its members it is not safe to return to classrooms on Monday.
In a statement, the union said: “This is a step we take with huge reluctance. But this Government is failing to protect children, their families and our communities.
The PM has been urged in a poll to keep all schools in England shut
“And it is failing in its duty of care to education staff who have worked tirelessly to look after children during this pandemic.”
The union said that while children may not become ill with Covid-19, they can still spread it to others.
The statement continued: “If the Government does not act to follow the science, we must.”
The poll ran from 2.15pm to 7.15pm on Saturday, January 2, with a total of 2,974 people taking part.