- ‘our members have a legal right to refuse’, says NEU
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged parents in areas where primary schools are open to ensure that they take their children to school tomorrow.
Mr Johnson told Andrew Marr of BCC that “there is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe”.
He, however, warned that there will be tighter restrictions in the coming weeks.
Mr Johnson has been under pressure to keep schools open despite the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.
In his defence, Johnson insisted that education is a priority, urging parents to send their kids to school tomorrow.
“There is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe, and that education is a priority,
“The benefits of education are so huge, overwhelmingly we want to keep our young people in education,” Mr Johnson told Marr.
He warned that “It may be that we need to do things in the next few weeks that may be tougher. I’m fully reconciled to that. I think the whole country is fully reconciled to that.”
In England, schools are set to open on Monday despite the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases with more transmissible variant spreads, affecting more children than before.
The government planned to stagger secondary school resumption a week later, with GSCE and A-level students scheduled to resume first.
Sky Reports that some primaries in areas where the new variant is more prevalent will not resume on Monday.
“These areas in London includes South East, – 11 areas of Essex, nine areas of Kent, four areas of Hertfordshire, two areas of East Sussex and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire,” Sky News report.
Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) has a contrary view to the Prime Minister.
The NEU’s joint general secretary, Kevin Courtney has argued that members have “a legal right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions which are a danger to their health and to the health of their school communities and more generally”.
But Mr Johnson advised parents to “look at where your area is, overwhelmingly you will be in a part of the country where primary schools tomorrow will be open.”