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Unions are calling for a 'pause' in school re-openings.

Harriet Clifford

Teaching unions demand school closures after ‘chaotic’ handling

10:52, 4th January 2021

Primary schools have opened today in some parts of England in line with government guidance, after prime minister Boris Johnson assured viewers that ‘there is no doubt’ that ‘schools are safe’. 

In a letter signed by six major teaching unions, the government’s handling of school closures has been described as ‘chaotic’ and ‘confusing’ and a call has been made for a ‘pause’ in re-openings. 

Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on 3 January, the PM urged parents to send their primary children to school on Monday and asked local councils to follow government guidance about primary schools reopening in some parts of England. 

The NEU (National Education Union) is advising members not to return to work and has ‘written to all employers and all head teachers and principals giving this same advice and asking them to make preparations for a move to remote learning instead.’ 

Local authorities in some parts of the country are advising headteachers to move learning online. 

It has been suggested on social media that further changes could be made in the coming days. Conservative MP Damian Hollins said that a ‘decision about which schools will be required to stay open will be reviewed in the next few days by the Department for Education’. 

Teachers and parents face uncertainty as the situation continues to unfold. 


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