#SchoolClosureUK - @NEUnion calls for school closures from @BorisJohnson 

A video statement has been published by the National Education Union this afternoon. In it, joint general secretaries Kevin Courtney and Dr Mary Bousted explain the NEU's call on Boris Johnson to close schools and colleges and protect vulnerable educators or those caring for at-risk family members.

Below is the full text of a letter sent this morning to the Prime Minister:

17 March 2020

Dear Prime Minister

We write again following your announcements yesterday and our letter of Saturday.

In that letter we pointed to an apparent contradiction between bans on large gatherings and a refusal to close schools.

We also said we thought that it was important to engage with all the science and appealed for more information to be released on the modelling and on the effects on vulnerable school and college teachers, other staff and parents.

We have not yet seen that further information.

You announced yesterday that vulnerable people are to confine themselves for 12 weeks from this weekend.

On our understanding this includes:

pregnant women, and those who are suffering from:

We assume that on this basis teachers and other school and college staff who have these conditions or who are caring for people with those conditions, or who are over 70 should self-isolate.

We intend to advise all our members in these categories or caring for people in them to stop attending schools and colleges from next Monday at the latest. Some will do so earlier.

We also assume that the children of parents with those conditions should also avoid school or college.

This will make the running of schools all the more complicated.

Given your failure to release modelling comparing different scenarios of school closures, we are now forced to call on you to close schools, at least for some time and at least in some areas. 

We know that very many of our members who aren’t in the categories of heightened risk would be willing to volunteer to play a role in helping our society get through this crisis.

We suggest during a period of full school closure that teachers and school leaders could work on plans for more limited opening to: 

  • ensure that we can look after the children of parents who must do the work our society needs - including NHS staff, food and distribution workers, police, prison and fire brigade staff and those who are working to produce medical equipment, including hopefully industries being re purposed to produce ventilators; 
  • ensure that children on free school meals or otherwise in food poverty can eat nutritious meals;
  • support other children in need.

Of course, this could not be a full opening and it would mean substantial changes from the way schools are normally run - but we believe schools could be important community hubs. This in turn requires that SATs are abandoned and that you produce proposals on the inevitable widespread disruption to GCSE and A -level exams.

Supply teachers would also be willing to help in such ways and in any event need your support during school closure or self-isolation.

We look forward to your engagement with these ideas and we remain, as before, ready to meet with you and the Secretary of State for Education.

Given the number of staff and pupils that will now be off school, teachers and leaders will simply have to exercise their professional discretion about whether schools and colleges open and what work is undertaken - and they should do so with your approval.

We will support them in so doing.

Dr Mary Bousted

Kevin Courtney

Joint General Secretaries, National Education Union

cc. Gavin Williamson

 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page