Bristol Trades Union Council is calling for all to support this meeting.
Early in April the National Education Union (NEU) outlined their five tests that the Government should meet before widening the opening of schools. Unlike the Governments current strategy the meeting of the NEU’s tests would create the necessary confidence amongst parents and staff that schools are being opened in a way that is safe and doesn’t endanger educators, school children, workers and the NHS.
The NEU five tests are –
Test 1 : Much lower numbers of Covid-19 cases
Test 2 : A national plan for social distancing
Test 3 : Testing, testing, testing!
Test 4 : Whole school strategy
Test 5 : Protection for the vulnerable
Details about the NEU five tests can be found at NEU five tests for Government before schools can re-open
Further details of the meeting and how to join the meeting can be found on this Facebook event page No back to school – until its safe
The meeting is hosted by Bristol Corona Crisis – People Before Profit Network, Bristol NEU and South Glos. Young Educator Network.
I attended this meeting which adhered to very strict social distancing rules.
Teachers, parents, pupils and union activists gathered to give their support to teachers and their unions who are refusing to reopen schools until it is safe to do so.
In opening the meeting Jon Reddiford, National Education Union (NEU) executive member for the area spoke of the huge amount of unity amongst teachers and of the concerns that were being raised. He drew our attention to the closure of Weston-super-Mare hospital over the weekend, closed because of a spike in Cofid-19 cases.
Amanda Martin, National President of the National Education Union (NEU) spoke of the concerns of teachers in being expected to open classrooms. She told the audience that the Government has issued many documents with much conflicting information much of which hadn’t been verified by experts.
The NEU National President said that no one seems to be able to give an answer as to what rate do young people pass on the virus to others and that this answer is of special importance to those associated with schools as social isolation doesn’t happen among young people.
A school student spoke of how scared they were about the return to school as schools were just not safe yet. The student went of to say that schools shouldn’t be seen as a dumping ground and with problems around public transport and with children potentially attending on different days a bad situation could deteriorate very rapidly.
The Chair of Bristol Labour Party offered solidarity and said this was a massive public health issue and that schools shouldn’t open until unions say that schools are safe.
One grand parent asked how can one teacher be expected to supervise 15 students but we are not allowed to visit our grand children.
The Secretary of Bristol NEU spoke of the disappointment that teachers had with the Labour Mayor of Bristol who had not come out with unequivocal support with teachers. The Secretary explained how important risk assessments where and they should be published in the public domain.