Breaking: Wales, Scotland closing all schools

Devolved governments outstrip Tories in protecting children and families

Both the Welsh and Scottish governments have announced that all schools are to close by the end of the week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Boris Johnson has continued to resist calls for a similar move in England. However, the government has scheduled an announcement for 5pm today.

All the governments must make urgent provision to ensure that the huge numbers of children reliant on free school meals do not go hungry during what is likely to be a lengthy closure.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The WHO advises the public to wash their hands after handling money, especially if handling or eating food. But they haven’t issued a warning about using banknotes. China was destroying some of theirs.
    Recommended to use contactless

    1. And what about those who don’t have cards and rely on cash?

      I have a card. Never use it for owt else other than drawing out from ATM’s, maybe the odd internet spend every few months so (Funds conditional).

      Fooked if I’m gonna let the Govt & corporations know my every spending move/habit(s) so they can monetise that information and keep tabs on me & my (meagre) finances – card or no card, virus or no virus.

      People who use contactless, apple pa and all that techonlogical tat are sleepwalking into an kafkaesque future and dragging the rest of us with them. For me, it’s the equivalent of the Govt & corporates demanding to know how much you have at any time.

      Same with these ‘smart meters’. They want to know when you use the most power so they can charge you more at your peak times as well, as determine your lifestyle.

      They can swivel. I’d urge everyone to keep using cash wherever & whenever possible. .

      1. . ”For me, it’s the equivalent of the Govt & corporates demanding to know how much you have at any time.”

        …I thought we had a ‘FREE market’?

        (Last sentence went missing from my OP)

      2. There’s another way of looking at card vs cash.
        Cards, interestingly enough, benefit a socialist society most.
        Capitalists defend capitalism as being the only mechanism able to respond to people’s desires (‘needs’ being known from a simple census) but cards give direct and instant feedback on what people buy, enabling a mixed command/small enterprise ‘maker’ economy to understand desires as they trend by surveying all early adopters, thus functioning far more efficiently than capitalism ever has.

        Capitalist competition is so enormously inefficient – there’s a completely unnecessary cycle of huge success and huge failure – one company succeeds and grows fat while the efforts of its competitors are wasted – then it grows complacent, fails in its turn with massive harm and is supplanted by the ‘next big thing’.
        Cooperation in a modern economy with instant communication can avoid such waste and failure, and is essential for any chance of restoring or even maintaining the current natural environment.
        New products can be trialled without secrecy or fanfare and succeed or fail and be recycled with little loss.

        Open accounting can prevent the rich secreting the undeclared and untaxed wealth of the world, the fruits of our labour, in tax havens.
        They fear socialism because their finances would be exposed and taxed – which benefits all of us on the way to a fully equal society.
        I’d willingly accept everyone’s finances being open because that justifies scrutinising those of the rich and putting the cheats, their crooked accountants and lawyers in prison and on the dole.
        I don’t see any reason for socialists to object to that when privacy prevents the redistribution of wealth we need and deserve.

  2. Schools were recently described as Covid 19 incubation units.At least some parts of UK are addressing this actuality

    1. Johnson knows very well, not least because the rest of the World is telling him, that Schools should be closed and NHS workers tested when they feel ill. He has refused now to contemplate it and together with the wishy-washy ‘maybe avoid pubs etc’ advice means he (or Cummings) haven’t given up on their ‘generational adjustment’. Like a toy they can’t stop playing with.

  3. When the Co-op do more for children on free school meals it is shameful !!

    ‘We know that for many children who get free school meals, lunch at school is the main meal of the day, so if school closes unexpectedly there’s a risk they go hungry. We can’t let this happen. So, we’re stepping in and giving 6,500 students that receive free school meals at our 25 Co-op Academy schools a £20 voucher for every week of unplanned closure – this can be spent in any Co-op food store.

    It’s a drop in the ocean when you consider there are 1.4 million kids on free school meals in this country. So that’s why today, I’ve also asked the Government to lead a nationwide effort to make sure no child goes hungry just because they can’t go to school. Steve Murrells Co-op CEO’

    1. 1.4 million on free school meals, they will go hungry if we dont keep schools open
      Kids upto 10 are not at risk, others will recover
      Effect on parents having to take time off, pay for care
      Grandparents caring for kids eho can be carriers completes nightmare scenario

      1. well Doug that’s not true is it , there is a case here on SB of a mother and her 9 yr old seriously affected and in Hosp with it.
        More so you are going against the recommendations from the WHO , schools need to be shut ASAP . DO you not think that the WHO will have taken the other risk factors into consideration and weighed the action of closing schools as a lower risk than not closing .
        Re paying for care , well that Vs life or death for some who will be come infected as a result of the schools being left open is a simple choice imo.
        In any case the blame for this dilemma lies solely with Johnson and Co and we all recognise that families MUST not be put into that nightmere situation. Pressure on that Twat in number 10 must be bought to a head.

        Breaking just read they are shutting the schools so the case has been made thank goodness

      2. “there is a case here on SB of a mother and her 9 yr old seriously affected and in Hosp with it.”

        … which is *very* unusual.

      3. RH I assume you have the facts to back up that claim ,, that it is very unusual ,you have a survey to hand of all the hospitals in the UK and the nature of their patients , broken down by type and age and ailment ?
        Remember just trying to keep it real , stop the hysterical fake news as you are fond of telling us all .

        This is the beginning of the epidemic here and I’d contend that it will become much more the norm.
        Pray tell that to the mother , as usual your dismissiveness grates on the conscience of any socialist and when it’s your 4 yr old granddaughter , yes remember her, that you cited sometime ago could do a better job than Corbyn , if/when she gets it I wonder if you will be just a dismissive as ,” it’s very unusual “.
        In any case thank goodness the decision has been made to close them and you like me are an irrelevance to that fact.

      4. Well, I’ve just heard today that my nephew’s wife has it and one of their youngsters around that age is showing a high temperature. If it is the virus, although he’ll probably be fine (as most likely she will be due to their both being otherwise healthy) it certainly means the young can indeed get it.

        For those on free school meals, while it might be difficult it’s surely not beyond the bounds of possibility for the authorities to organise some means of providing those meals on a local basis. After all, the schools know who they are and where they live.

        With many parents now working from home, or even being laid off, they can surely look after them, perhaps with the help of the grandparents if needed.

        Obviously there will be those who do need someone outside the family to look after their children but it’s not an insurmountable problem that can’t be resolved by the authorities if necessary, provided they’re willing to step up to the plate.

        It’s now high time to take more drastic action rather than keep pussy-footing around, or this country could be in very serious trouble way beyond what we’ve seen so far.

      5. rob
        Kathryn stated they refused to test bairn,
        The reason for that is they are not in danger from covid 19,
        Policy is to treat like any other flu
        I volunteer for a food charity, 90% of our deliveries are schools
        1.4 million on school meals
        Grand parents main carers in holidays
        Makes no sense to me because schools will open to feed hungry bairns and parents
        Current Benefit levels leave you with choice of heat or eat or pay rent,

      6. Children with existing health conditions are likely to be more vulnerable.

  4. Summer holidays starting in mid-March……..mad as a hatter or the power of bourgeois school teachers desperate for more paid time off……” a learning experience carrying on?” Exams are cancelled or postponed, so no marking & predicted grades (joke) on Greta Time.

    Grandparents caring for school kids is a recipe for disaster or perhaps Boris’s formula to ensure Generation Z kills off Baby Boomers?

    1. “bourgeois school teachers desperate for more paid time off……”

      Oh dear, oh dear. Such dick-brain twattery pretending to socialsm!

      1. RH Did I dare write something you didn’t like? You need a lesson in courtesy……….just ignorant.

        There is no evidence to support the statement that school closures benefit anybody & in fact they will not be closed. Generation Z appears to be immune & most kids will still congregate in groups unless there is a complete lock-down. Gangs of unsupervised kids roaming the streets while their parents are @work.

        I suppose you believe that kids will just do school work from home & without supervision. It is same corrupt logic that children of ‘key’ workers will still attend school, but their friends will not. Are you serious? It is the same perverse logic that would bring ‘retired’ health workers out of retirement.

        Close the schools & bring chaos! The Police have already ‘washed their hands’.of any attempt to address anti-social behaviour in many areas of the country, but the ‘Smugs’ continue to deny there is a problem. Even many leafy suburbs experience major problems, Schools are baby sitters & if you close them there will be serious implications.

      2. Those arguing that schools mustn’t close are arguing that the businesses the parents work for are more important than their lives.
        Essential services – food, power, comms etc. can be maintained by relatively few people remaining on site or travelling on empty roads for the short duration of an otherwise complete lockdown.
        Complete lockdown can end the emergency in the few weeks it takes with immeasurably fewer deaths.
        Had it been done immediately it could have been over by now.
        Lockdown works if it’s thorough.
        All the bullshit you hear and read is to protect the establishment from criticism and revenge.

    2. That has to be one of the most nonsensical comments I’ve read today!

      Where do you think they’re more likely to pick up the virus? At school among dozens of other children, as well as staff who might have it (bearing in mind not everyone displays symptoms), or while at home away from other children and staff? They don’t even have to contract it themselves, merely carry the virus home on their clothes, books, bags, anything really.

      If it means they have to be kept at home, so be it. Drastic measures are what’s required now to try and stop the spread further and get on top of it or there really will be an overload on the NHS, as is happening in Italy. All this flattening the curve is just nonsense to cover for their inadequacy in dealing with it. You can’t control the spread of a virus you can’t see like you can material things.

      Or perhaps you believe the idiocy of herd immunity from a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus, where the effectiveness of such a measure is as yet completely unknown. Besides, so-called herd immunity only works in conjunction with a vaccine, which of course we don’t have yet.

      Furthermore, since we now live in the age of the internet and distance learning, what’s to stop them studying at home, just as many parents will now be working from home and perhaps able to look after their children themselves instead of the grandparents.

      It seems to me you’re more concerned with accusing teachers of being bourgois and wanting longer holidays than arresting the spread of this virus.

      1. PW…….try this non-sense.

        Kids will willingly self isolate if they are not @ school?

        Kids will happily continue to do their school work @ home?

        All families can afford a computer for each child.

        All parents can & will take paid time off from work to look after their kids?

        There are a thousand other reasons, but the bourgeoisie live in a smug bubble that makes them blind.

  5. Heard Immunity is the only option at this time but the quicker it is allowed to spread the greater the spike and the greater the collateral damage -demand greater than the supply of health service provision.
    Boris’ Squashed Sombrero chart will be make interesting analysis in the future pandemics.
    Novel virus Novel Public Health Intervention.

  6. Steve Richards, it goes without saying on this socialist forum that government must provide, whatever the cost.
    The cost, while immediate and huge, will be vastly lower than the eventual cost of failing to spend whatever it takes to create lockdown now.

  7. Steve Richards, I really do hope you’re not suggesting I somehow belong to the bourgoisie after over half a lifetime of laying tarmac for a living and now retired on a state pension and living in a social housing flat. If so, you should be more careful about assuming what you think others’ lifestyles and backgrounds are.

    My older sister, on the other hand, was a primary school teacher and head-mistress all her life, ran a highly successful primary school, in fact one of the very best in the country, working exceptionally hard to achieve that. So perhaps a bit less of the denigration of teachers.

    As for parents taking time off, or the grandparents having to act as minders, the schools have now closed so that becomes a somewhat moot point, Besides which, many parents themselves will now be at home anyway, either working from there, laid off temporarily, or maybe sad to say even permanently. Moreover, as I understand it, for those who can’t be looked after, arrangements will be made for some to remain open, though I may be wrong there.

    I grant you many families won’t have computers for every child but you’d be surprised how many do, even among the working-class families that I know – tablets and laptops these days don’t cost the earth, especially second hand recon ones. Even if they only have the one, I’m sure they can work out some sort of routine so the kids can still do at least some studying.

    No doubt there are plenty who still want to get on in the world, whether they’re in school or out and I’m sure most parents would encourage them to carry on with their learning. Today’s world of work is wholly different from the one when I left school in 1969, when you could find plenty of decent paying regular work without having any qualifications, not to mention proper apprenticeships.

    Of course there will be those who would rather not stay at home or continue with their school work. I was one of those belligerent types who couldn’t wait to leave and get out to work, yet I never lost the desire for expanding my knowledge — I just hated the grammar school I ended up at as it was more like a public school.

    As for staying at home, most kids will listen reason if they’re shown how bringing home the virus could impact on their parents/grandparents lives, and by extension their own. They can be surprisingly understanding and responsible given good reasons to be so. You shouldn’t ever underestimate them as they can so often surprise you, as I know from my own sons and daughters, now all adults of course.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: