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Brent NEU reps advise against the reopening of schools in June

PUBLISHED: 10:28 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

Union and safety representatives in Brent have advised now is not the time to reopen schools in Brent.

Thirty eight Brent NEU (National Education Union) officials and branch secretaries met online on Monday evening (May 18) prior to the proposed wider reopening of schools.

Members were told “The NEU’s Five tests have not been met and therefore it’s not safe yet”.

The five tests are lower cases of Covid-19 cases, a national plan for social distancing, testing, whole school approaches and protection for the vulnerable.

Eight Brent schools were names which will not be re-opening on June 1.

Questions were asked about transmission between children.

Phil Pardoe, London officer, stated “The evidence is not there yet”.

Jenny Cooper, district secretary, said: “The BMA backs us, many parents back us and other unions back us. It’s not that we’re militant for the sake of it; this is a life and death issue”.

She then went on to share the news of the death of a pupil in Walthamstow and the sad news that in one street in Brent 28 people died of coronavirus.

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Reps will be returning to their members in schools to advise them not to participate in a wider reopening yet.

A statement on the Department of Education website says: “We anticipate with further progress that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June, to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings.

“We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time,”

The government’s five tests include ensuring that a second wave that would overwhelm the NHS is avoided, the rate of infection decreasing to “manageable levels”, and the provision of adequate testing availability.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending May 8 was 12,657; a decrease for the third week running but 3,081 more than the five-year average.

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