Michael Gove said reopening schools in January will involve “compromising” other coronavirus restrictions when one of the government’s top scholars advisers said there were “very, very difficult decisions” going on keep the virus under control in January

Downing Street and the Department of Education are expected to decide on Monday whether schools can reopen on schedule amid calls by academics to delay the staggered firewall start as a limited Christmas mix was allowed across parts of the UK. p>

Gove said he hoped elementary and 11th grade students would and 13 Class in England could return in the first week of January, the rest later in the month – but it will be checked further

“Teachers and principals have worked incredibly hard over the Christmas season since the schools closed to prepare for a new testing regime – community testing – to make sure children and we are all safer,” he told Sky News check things out, but that’s the plan ”

Gove told the BBC that “our intention is to make sure we can get kids back to school as early as possible … We speak to teachers and principals to make sure we can deliver effectively. But we all know that there are compromises

“As a country we have decided – and I think this is the right thing – to give priority to children returning to school. But we have a new breed and it is also the case that we too, albeit in very limited, Christmas mixes had so we have to stay vigilant ”

Boris Johnson previously refused to rule out further school closings, saying at a press conference on Downing Street before Christmas that he wanted schools to reopen “if we can”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is believed to be conducting a “rearguard” against an “older colleague” who had concerns about opening schools. Williamson’s allies have consulted MPs to see if they can publicly support one School opening on time He is expected to have concerns about the impact on summer exams in England if more study hours are lost

Williamson will also point out that he believes it would be difficult for school principals to reopen schools after a brief shutdown as it undermines the trust of parents and teachers

The UK’s largest teachers union has stated that schools in England should be postponed to reopen for at least two weeks as concerns grow over the spread of Covid-19 from London and the South East

“We fear that they are not making the right decision today and doing what they have done throughout the pandemic That is, taking an ideological line and getting the schools back before the testing program can properly take place, ”said Mary Bousted, Joint Secretary General of the National Education Union (NEW)

“Many schools will still not run the testing program if they open on April 4th January to be reopened Then we would have to shut down longer in two or three weeks ”

While industrial action is not an option, the NEW would strongly advise members that they have a legal right to work in a safe environment

“We cannot exercise this right together, but we do give strong advice to our members about their rights,” she said

The Association of School and University Directors (ASCL), which is also concerned about the portability of the new variant among children, has stated that the government should immediately communicate the result of its decision to teachers

“If science tells us, and the Chief Medical Officer’s advice says it’s not safe [to reopen schools as planned], we’ll work with it,” ASCL President Richard Sheriff told Sky News

Independent Sage, the group of experts set up as an alternative voice to the Scientific Emergency Advisory Group (Sage), the government’s official advisory body, says schools should remain closed until urgent safety measures are taken / p>

“At the same time, laptops and WiFi should be made available so that all children can take part in distance learning,” said Stephen Reicher, professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews and member of the Behavioral Science Advisory Committee on Sage

The Scottish Government has announced that schools in Scotland will not open until Jan. January fully reopened when the spread of the new strain is managed

A third union, NASUWT, wrote to Williamson Monday to postpone the reopening of the school to assess the risks. The union’s general secretary Patrick Roach called for teachers and other staff to have priority access to the school Covid-19 vaccines is granted

Robert Halfon, chair of the Education Selection Board, also said that vaccination teachers should be given priority in order to keep schools open, “When making these decisions, the risks that arise from having them should also be measured Children staying at home risk to their learning, mental health and protection, and pressures on parents and their work and mental health ”

Sir Jeremy Farrar, a Sage member, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that the arguments about reopening the school are very balanced and the whole country is facing extremely difficult weeks

“I am sure that opening schools is an absolute priority, but society – and ultimately this is a political decision – needs to balance to keep schools open when it can, and with it others Parts of society are closing, ”said the director of the Wellcome Trust

“There will be a compromise between one or the other. You can’t have it all. You can’t open up all of society, open schools and educate yourself and keep universities, and keep R below 1 with this variant I think there are some very , very tough choices. We’re going to see this continuing pressure for at least the next two or three months ”

Shadowing Secretary Kate Green said parents are concerned about reports the government’s science advisors have been pushing for prolonged school closings

“The government is not being honest with parents and students about the return of schools in January,” Green said, but did not call for a delay in the restart

“Parents, students and staff will be increasingly concerned about the dripping of media reports that scientists recommended schools close in January, but the Prime Minister is unsure of the advice he has received”

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Green said it was “a litany of government failures” that put schools at risk of closure and Johnson was due to hold a press conference Monday to set out the advice he was following along with England’s chief medical officer , Prof Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Government’s principal scientific adviser


World News – UK – Michael Gove: The reopening of the English schools will involve compromises

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/28/coronavirus-michael-gove-reopening-englands-schools-will-involve-trade-offs