SCHOOLS have now been shut by the Prime Minister, but he took longer to do it than other European countries. Why was this? When the below was written on Tuesday, this is exactly what we asked.
Mr Johnson said: “We think at the moment it’s much better if we can keep schools open, for all sorts of reasons. This is something we need to keep under review.” One of the arguments for keeping schools open is that children infected with COVID-19 are at a really, really low risk – lower than any adults.
If schools close and children stay at home, there is a worry that many parents who work in the NHS and other public services won’t be able to get to work. Lots of parents get help from their own parents to look after their children. But as people over 70 are among the most vulnerable people, it is too risky to let them look after children who could have the virus.
But with more teachers taking time off work to stay home, head teachers’ unions say some schools face closures anyway. “It is likely that a number of schools will have to close because there are too few staff available,” they said in a joint statement. The National Education Union has also called on the prime minister “to close schools, at least for some time and at least in some areas”.
They ask that SATs tests, due to take place in May, are abandoned and for the Government to suggest what they plan to do about “the inevitable widespread disruption to GCSE and A-level exams”.
At the time of writing, the advice remains that teachers and students should prepare for exams as normal.