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In one hour of Johnson’s new measures, 49,000 teachers responded to say overwhelmingly: NO to re-opening schools

Massive majority of teachers responding to NEU survey rejected Johnson’s madness

Within one hour of Boris Johnson’s announcement of his revised coronavirus measures last night, which include a plan to re-open schools starting from 1 June and completed by the middle of the month, 49,000 members of the National Education Union (NEU) responded to a survey about the Johnson’s plan.

And they responded with a massive ‘NO!’

85% of respondents said they disagreed with Boris Johnson’s plans to restart lessons for reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1 June.

93% said they would not feel safe with the proposed wider opening of schools.

Of those with school age children, 90% said they felt it would be unsafe or very unsafe to send their children back to school.

Of those working from home because they have a pre-existing medical condition or are expecting a baby, 96% said they felt unsafe or very unsafe returning to work. And 96% of those with a family member living with them who has a pre-existing medical condition or are pregnant thought it would be unsafe or very unsafe for them to return.

92% said the government must meet the NEU’s five tests before schools can re-open.

The union’s joint general secretary Mary Bousted said:

The government must work with the unions to establish a position which gains the confidence of staff in schools. Tonight’s announcement – so out of step with Scotland and Wales and with its confusion about social distancing – has resulted in 93 per cent of NEU members saying they feel unsafe.

The Prime Minister describes this as a ”first sketch” of a roadmap but our members think this sketch must urgently be re-drawn.

The incoherence in this plan has generated genuine fear. For school leaders, the lack of clarity about what is expected before, or on 1 June, is simply unacceptable.

The dangers of Johnson’s push for a return to school are exposed by a newly-published study of an outbreak in a French school that showed 40% of the school’s population became infected in just a few weeks, along with a significant number of parents and siblings. Watch a leading virologist’s emphatic conclusion:

Sign the NEU petition to delay schools opening until the five tests have been met. The union’s report on the government’s failure to answer its questions was published here.

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6 comments

  1. And last I heard 200,000 had signed the NEU petition and that was only after 2 hours I believe.
    The NEU has 5 very good tests to be met before a safe return to schools.
    Trade unionists are to go on strike over this in France and have a brilliant poster of children as guinea pigs!
    Left wing trade unionists have set up a very good Covid 19 Action Group and activists are sticking posters up around schools where they live saying Don’t Reopen Schools Until It Is Safe To Return!’
    Owen Jones was very good in the Guardian today saying they are sending the working class (often poorly paid) people back to work with risks whilst the middle class generally can work at home, and of course a significant number of the rich and powerful are enconsed in their country retreats or overseas bolt holes oh and 550 of the super rich have arrived in the UK (untested) in their private jets often from Covid 19 hotspots since the crisis started!
    Some argue Johnson is partly trying to appease the hard right in the Tory Party as against those Tories who are more cautious but Tories being Tories primarily as usual put profit before people though when they say “National interest” read “capitalist interest.”
    With the abysmal Neo-Liberal Tories and their Neo-Liberal Poodle Starmer, it is up to trade unionists and left wing democratic socialists to lead The Fight For Working People And Our Lives!

  2. Just to clarify the NEU petition signed by 200,000 was to give parents the choice about sending their kids back to school, should know signed it!

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