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11 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Teachers have “very serious concerns“ about schools reopening in June, union says

By Samuel Horti

The teaching profession has “very serious concerns” about whether schools can safely reopen in June, general secretary of the teachers’ union has said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that primary schools could reopen as early as 1 June. But Patrick Roach, of NASUWT, criticised the government for making the announcement without a proper plan for ensuring schools are safe for staff and pupils. 

“The Prime Minister said that it would be madness to risk a second spike in relation to transmission of the virus. Well the profession has got very serious concerns about that announcement of  1 June, whether indeed it is possible to achieve it, but also how to achieve that in a way which is safe for pupils and staff,” he told the BBC.

“If you’re dealing with five and six-year-olds and 11-year-olds, how to ensure stringent social distancing in that context is a big challenge and government simply haven’t answered that challenge.

“And finally, just in terms of risk assessments, parents will want to know that schools are going to be hygienic, they’re going to be safe for their children to be in. And we still don’t have any clear standards about what safe cleaning routines would be like within a school context and we need to have that.”

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