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Redbridge teachers and parents to hold Zoom meeting to oppose reopening schools

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 19 May 2020

Schools are due to reopen on June 1 for some pupils. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

Schools are due to reopen on June 1 for some pupils. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Many Redbridge state school teachers do not want to return to work until the danger of coronavirus has passed.

Plans are being made to reopen England’s schools from June 1, on the grounds young children are less likely to become seriously ill from the virus.

It is understood that nursery, pre-school, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 students would return first, as well as Years 10 and 12.

However, teachers and support staff in Redbridge, as well as some headteachers, are holding an online Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 21 to oppose the reopening.

Councillor Jas Athwal, leader of the council, said he does not support the re-opening of schools until processes are in place to keep children and teachers safe.

He added: “If schools do open as planned I will make sure no parent is fined for their child’s non-attendance until we reach a period of normality.

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“Teachers and head teachers should not be penalised if they cannot work or feel their schools are not ready to reopen.

“I will continue to work closely with Redbridge parents, teachers, and unions to make sure the wellbeing of school staff and children is protected at all times.”

Cllr Paul Donovan said: “Teachers and their union representatives have every right to be wary of government efforts to get them back into the classroom without due attention to their safety.

“Many are no doubt looking at the total failure to exercise a duty of care toward health and care workers.

“This negligent failure to provide the required personal protection equipment has no doubt cost lives.

“Teachers in state schools also must wonder why, if it is so safe to return, their counterparts in the public schools are not doing so till September.

“Yes, children do need to get back to school, being locked at home, often in cramped conditions, is no good for anyone. But staff and children can only go back when it is demonstrably safe to do so and not as part of some behavioural science experiment.”

Parents who wish to support school staff can join the meeting at 6.30pm on Thursday (May 21) on Zoom by visiting https://tinyurl.com/yc2ja23g


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