Ministers must delay school reopening by a fortnight, says UNISON

Goverment must act immediately for primary schools

The government must delay the reopening of all schools in England by two weeks to minimise the spread of Covid-19, UNISON says.

The union is joining with other education unions in demanding that remote learning should be introduced for pupils of primary schools across the country, in line with the delay for secondary schools.

UNISON head of education Jon Richards said: “The Government must act decisively now by delaying the start of term for all schools by two weeks because of spiralling infection rates. Education should move online except for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

“UNISON has been calling for this ‘circuit-break’ since well before Christmas. Ministers have had weeks to get this right instead of leaving parents, staff and whole communities confused.

“The union is clear that members who work in schools have a right to a safe working environment. They shouldn‘t have to work where they face serious and imminent danger.

“Ministers must also ensure any extension of the vaccine priority list covers all school staff and not just teachers.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, private and community sectors. Of these, it represents more than 250,000 school staff.

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