Howlands Councillor Max Holloway writes in the Welwyn Hatfield Times on why he’s standing with local school staff and the National Education Union against this Government’s reckless school opening policy.
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I wanted to express solidarity with all the teachers, teaching assistants and school staff in Welwyn Hatfield who are being told they need to re-open schools on 1st June by this government – despite their objections, and those of their Union and the British Medical Association.
Indeed, the vast number of parents don’t think it’s safe for their children to return to school. Perhaps we need to ask why the children of Welwyn Hatfield are being told to go back – while children attending Eton have until September.
I’ll stand by any teacher that refuses to go back to school on 1st June because they feel it’s unsafe – that’s why I signed the National Education Union’s letter to the Education Secretary demanding that Schools are only re-opened when it’s absolutely safe to do so.
Of course the bile being directed towards teachers is disgusting – and the suggestion that they cannot be heroes unless they put themselves and our children at risk is ridiculous. Firstly, teachers and support staff have been working during lockdown – doing their best in challenging circumstances to support their children. Teachers are everyday heroes, often using their own money to pay for breakfasts, equipment and trips because of gaps in funding, and taking it upon themselves to fill the hole in social care support for the most vulnerable children.
The County Council should reject these calls from the Government and put our school staff, and our children first. Perhaps it’s the Education Secretary that needs to go back to school to learn how to listen – not our teachers.
Councillor Max Holloway