Marking books not safe suggests new coronavirus guidance for teachers

May 18, 2020 by

Councils warn parents not to expect schools to open on 1 June as government prepares for union talks

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Gavin Williamson

A growing number of councils in England are warning parents not to expect schools to open on 1 June, as new union guidance for teachers suggests it will not be safe to mark children’s books.

Bury council in Greater Manchester is the latest to confirm that primary schools will not reopen for some pupils on the government’s target date at the start of next month, pointing out that Covid-19 infections in the area are still too high.

Tamoor Tariq, lead member for children’s services, schools and families, said: “While high levels of Covid-19 infection in the north-west remain, and guidance around practical arrangements for social distancing within educational environments, testing and tracing, and supply of PPE is unclear, the borough will not be reopening schools on 1 June.”

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, will meet union leaders on Tuesday, as pressure builds on government to reopen primary schools in England to reception, year 1 and year 6.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents 19,000 members, said it would – with some caveats – support schools preparing to reopen from that date, after being reassured by government scientific advisers last week.

A number of multi-academy trusts, which are independent of local authorities and close to government, have also supported the 1 June return to school. A growing number of councils including Liverpool, Hartlepool, Rochdale and Wigan have, however, told parents not to expect schools to reopen on the government’s deadline.

Stockport council, also in Greater Manchester, has said its schools will not be ready to reopen to more pupils until 10 June at the earliest, while Slough council in Berkshire warned its parents many schools in the borough would not be accepting more children until 8 June.

Source: Marking books not safe suggests new coronavirus guidance for teachers | Education | The Guardian

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