The Government is asking schools to welcome back children in reception, year 1 and year 6 from June 1
Dozens of primary schools have written to Ealing Council asking for bosses to advise against sending more pupils back to school until they think it is safe to do so.
Secondary schools, special education schools and 25 primary schools so far have joined in calls to push back the reopening of classrooms starting with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children as the government expects pupils to be phased back into school from June 1.
But the National Education Union is urging for its five tests to be met before schools reopen, including ensuring a low number of coronavirus cases, a national plan for social distancing, protection for vulnerable staff and students’ families and regular testing for those within schools.
National Education Union Ealing district secretary, Stefan Simms, said a survey of local members found 70 per cent wanted to return to classrooms from June 15 at the earliest.
“Our members will not put lives at risk,” he said.
“We will go back when it is safe to do so and the Government needs to do more because we want to go back.”
The letter sent by schools said: “We ask that Ealing LA [local authority] issues advice to all its schools not to increase the number of pupils
attending until the principles and tests set out and agreed by the joint education unions is adopted by the Government.”
In Ealing, concerns for coronavirus spreading to vulnerable family members living in multi-generational households has also been highlighted as a risk if children return to school.
A public meeting is being held on Tuesday, May 26, with Ealing North MP James Murray, Mr Simms and a headteacher talking about why it is not safe to go back to schools. Parents and others interested are invited to join the meeting available via Zoom.
Mr Murray said in a joint statement with Ealing Southall MP, Virendra Sharma, and Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq, that the Government must not “blindly” push ahead with a plan that does not guarantee safety.