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Unions calling for School Closures – But what do Teachers think?

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Tensions are rising as pressure from Unions on the Government grows to keep all schools in England closed for a minimum of two weeks after the Christmas break.

Most primary schools in England will reopen from the 4th January as things currently stand, with the UK Government already U turning at the last minute and deciding secondary schools will reopen on a “staggered basis”. Meaning exam year pupils will currently return on the 11th January and all other pupils a week later.

However in another U turn on Friday, 1st January by the Government, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced all London primaries would remain shut on Monday – reversing a decision to only close certain schools in specific boroughs.

This decision was met with uproar by Teaching Unions who demanded the Education Secretary extend the closure to all primary schools across England. The Unions comments are currently being backed up by various “Doctors” and “Scientists” with various comments, headlines, and articles flying around Mainstream News and Social Media. But what we’re not seeing in these mainstream stories is the view point of the actual people this affects…Teachers and Pupils.

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The National Education Union have said “all primary and secondary schools should remain closed for two weeks following the Christmas break” and they are advising members against working in schools.

Dr Mary Bousted, head of the National Education union said “we are informing our members of their legal right to protection to be guided by the science”.

The National Association of Head Teachers have begun legal action against the Department of Education to share any information showing “why they think it is safe to reopen schools”. They also called for the government to move all schools to home learning for a brief and determined period for most children.

Unions angry at 'behind the scenes' negotiations by NASUWT

Teachers Union, NASUWT’s general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said “delaying the reopening of schools was “the only sensible and credible option”.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said closing all London schools was “the right decision”.

Not one of these comments or actions has come from the people it actually affects, teachers and children. Do teachers really want the schools to close? We don’t think so. They know too well what the adverse consequences are.

  • Interrupted learning
  • Poor nutrition
  • Confusion and stress for teachers
  • Parents unprepared for home schooling
  • Increased exposure to violence and exploitation
  • Social isolation
  • Challenges measuring and validating learning.

See for yourself here.

Schools do not need to close and they should remain open. But we have no doubt the Education Secretary will U-Turn at the last minute and bow to Union pressure. Which will result in chaos for teachers, pupils and parents. With a knock on effect for businesses opening up for the New Year whose staff are unable to attend because they are not able to find suitable care for their children, 5 minutes before opening time.

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