Sheffield Green Party councillors are supporting teachers’ unions, the British Medical Association and comments by Sheffield’s Director of Public Health, in saying that schools are not ready to take in more children on June 1st.
Teachers have continued to work throughout this crisis, showing great ingenuity by teaching online, setting and marking work for students. It is wrong to say that children are not receiving an education. They have simply been learning in a different way.
It is not safe or necessary for more early years children to go back to school. We must wait until an effective system of contact tracing and testing is in place. The only year that really needs to be in school this summer is Year 6, as they will be making a major transition to high school. For many of them, it will be the last time they see each other. Even so, they can’t return until we can be assured adequate measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the virus. These are not currently in place.
We therefore call for schools in Sheffield to keep operating as they are, instead of risking the health of staff, students and relatives by physically re-opening on 1st June.
We are calling for the administration in Sheffield to show the same courage as Liverpool and other councils.