Call for Council Leader to keep schools closed

Labour Councillors call on Cheshire East Leader not top open schools

Members of the Cheshire East Labour Group have called on the Labour Leader of Cheshire East Council to keep schools closed in order to combat the spread of the Coronavirus in the area.

Included in the signatories was former Crewe and Nantwich MP and now serving Cheshire East Councillor, Laura Smith.

The letter also addressed to Cllr Kathryn Flavell, Cabinet member for Children and Families and Jacky Forster, Director of Education.

The letter says:

Under normal circumstances it is important for children to be in school. But there is now increasing evidence showing growing transmission rates across school age young people across the country. SAGE (the official scientific advisory body of government) has recognised it is unlikely the R rate will reduce to below ‘1’ without the closure of schools.

Trade unions including the National Education Union, the NAHT, NASUWT, Unison, GMB, the CWU, TSSA, ASLEF, FBU and the RMT have expressed their view that schools should close.

The letter then asks for two specific actions to be undertaken.

  • Advise local schools (primary and secondary) not to reopen to all children in the next couple weeks (sic), to prepare provisions for online learning for most children and in-person learning for vulnerable children and those from key worker families.
  • Write to the government calling for them to close schools for a period until it is deemed safe to reopen.

The letter has been signed by a further number of councillors along with Trade Union members, teachers, teaching support staff and doctors in the wider Cheshire East Area.

The appeal comes as schools in the area are set to reopen however schools in other Tier 4 areas such as London are remaining closed under advice from the government.

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking to the BBC claimed schools were safe, this, however, would appear to contradict his own government’s advice with regards to school closures in the London area.

We have approached Cheshire East and Cllr Corcoran for comment.

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