Parents face chaos over classroom closings as primaries remain closed across the country today despite Boris Johnson's insistence that "schools are safe".
The Prime Minister told families yesterday that children should return to school in whatever areas they should open today and tomorrow.
But as Covid-19 rates rose, unions said a "snowball effect" closed dozen of schools despite official advice to stay open.
Mr Johnson said yesterday that he "has no doubt" that classrooms are safe
Yesterday Council Chairs in Cumbria, Brighton, Kent, Birmingham and Wolverhampton officially asked for permission to keep schools in their area closed.
While waiting for a response from Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson, Brighton and Hove City Councils have advised all school principals to shut down their schools, excluding vulnerable children and those of key workers, and to move learning online.
In Southampton, the city council warned that some schools "do not have enough staff to reopen safely to all children," while Berkshire's Slough Borough Council said some primaries would remain closed due to "general confusion" from the Department of Education.
The Labor MP apologizes for serving on "skipping queues" claims
A Shadow Labor Health spokesman has apologized for falsely claiming the vaccines minister queued to get a bump.
Rosena Allin-Khan admitted that it was "inappropriate and wrong" to share unsubstantiated claims about Nadhim Zahawi.
The Labor Frontbencher had posted on Twitter that she had heard "rumors" that the Tory Minister and his family had been vaccinated in Wandsworth, southwest London. But after it turned out that the rumor wasn't true, Dr. Labor Party reprimanded Allin-Khan, asked to remove their claims and asked to apologize. She tweeted, “I deleted my previous tweets that were inappropriate and incorrect. I regret sharing unsubstantiated claims about the Minister and I apologize to him and his family. & # 39;
Mr. Zahawi, who is overseeing the introduction of the vaccine, then replied, “Thank you very much for your apology. The charge was not true. It's sad that you made that decision. We must all work together to fight this terrible disease. & # 39;
Councils in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne have all pledged to support school principals who have had to close their schools, while the Preston City Council chairman said the primaries should remain closed "until they can safely reopen".
Norfolk County Council also said it would support minds who had to keep their schools closed.
The chaos has caused thousands of parents to look after their children.
There are worrying parallels with the first graduation in March, which the government only announced after many schools had closed on their own. Secondary students in exam years will return a week later than planned from January 11th, while other years are expected to go back from January 18th.
And all of the London primaries have been ordered to remain closed for the first two weeks of the January semester after a U-turn on Friday.
The list of areas of government where the primaries will remain closed also includes parts of Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.
Now, nearly a third of the country – around 17 million people – live in areas where the government's primary elections have been closed or where councils have announced they will support minds who decide to close their doors. Despite the chaos that unfolded, Mr Johnson said yesterday that he had "no doubt" that the classrooms were safe. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, “Schools are safe. It's very, very important to emphasize that.
“The risk to children and young people is indeed very, very small. The risk to the staff is very low. & # 39;
He added, "I understand people's frustrations, I understand people's fears, but I have no doubt that schools are safe and that education is a priority."
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer said his plans were insufficient and that it was "inevitable" that many would remain closed today.
The unofficial closings came after Britain's largest teachers' union, the National Education Union, convened an online meeting attended by 400,000 teachers and supporters, told to say no to reopenings.
Boris Johnson said schools that are supposed to be open will be safe for students and teachers because of the procedures in place
Kevin Courtney, his joint general secretary, told the selected teachers that they should protest against returning to school – and that it could create a "snowball effect". Within a few hours, the news seemed to have had an effect.
By last night, many schools had made a decision not to open despite being outside the government's "emergency framework" of requiring closings, citing some citing union advice. The Daily Mail has learned that faced with staff shortages, many schools are being forced to make decisions in the 11th class. For example, Lea Community Primary School in Preston said that "due to health and safety, rising rates of transmission and infection … and following advice from unions," the opening was not safe.
St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Birmingham also said "insufficient staff" was the reason for the decision to close the school. Instead, all classes are taught through live lessons offered online.
Bedford Primary School in Bootle, Merseyside, said it was closed to students other than key workers for at least a week "due to lower staffing levels".
Advice to students entering school in Islington before it became one of London's boroughs to switch to home learning
Salford Mayor Paul Dennett wrote to Mr Williamson last night saying he wanted face-to-face learning to be revisited. He said he would "support any headmaster in Salford who thinks it is unsafe to open his school".
When Mr Williamson wrote in the Mail on Sunday, he gave no indication that he would consider extending school closings. "The safety of teachers and students will always come first, but we must all move heaven and earth to get children back into the classroom where they can thrive best," he wrote.
I run a business – and help my son
Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mom to Lewis, seven, and runs a social media consultancy from her home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Your area is in Tier 4, with the latest data showing a new fall rate of 739 per 100,000 for the week ending December 28th.
Rachel Allen, 40, is a single mother to Lewis, seven (pictured together) and runs a social media counseling from her Tier 4 home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. She says, "As a self-employed single parent trying to keep a business going that was decimated when the lockdown began, school is a lifeline for me."
She says, “As a self-employed single parent trying to keep a business going that was decimated when the lockdown began, school is a lifeline for me. It gives me the space to focus on maintaining an income while Lewis can be in the classroom with friends to get the education he needs.
“I am not entitled to any assistance and I have no savings to fall back on. So I have to keep the business going and make sure that my third year son gets an education.
& # 39; When the first lockdown started … my existing business was almost destroyed overnight. Luckily I was able to hold on, but I must have lost 10,000 pounds this year and to say it was a tough slog would be an understatement – there were times when I felt like my head was in a pressure cooker.
“Even so, we made up our routine: I adjusted my work to gaps to help Lewis with his job and then I got an NHS contract which meant I was a key worker and he was back to school in June could go. But now it's back to home school.
“I am very happy that Lewis' father lives nearby and is very helpful and dedicated. The last time schools closed we took turns taking Lewis and this time we will do the same thing again but both he and his partner also work full time too.
“Fortunately, Lewis is very adaptable and takes everything at his own expense, but I'm worried about how this will affect him in the long run. Obviously, I don't want my son's education to suffer, but I need to prepare for it to likely do so.
"As a single parent and self-employed, we are resilient – I just have to lie down and carry on."
The children want to return to the lessons
Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaning lady, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, with her husband Nicholas, 40, a manager. They live in Purley near Croydon in south London which is in Tier 4 and has a fall rate of 835.5 per 100,000 people:
“After taking my Christmas break, I expected to be back to work this week. But Wednesday night's announcement changed all of that.
Ella Brucher, 35, a self-employed cleaning lady, has two children, Scarlet, six, and Dominic, ten, (pictured together) in Purley, Level 4. Ms. Brucher said: “After she couldn't work at all, it's three months earlier in the year very difficult – and it is also difficult for the children. You want to be back in school. & # 39;
“After we couldn't work at all for three months at the beginning of the year, it's very difficult – and it's also difficult for the children.
“They want to be back in school, they miss socializing – and since they can't meet friends outside of school, the classroom was the only place they had this important interaction.
“My son plays computer games and talks to friends on headphones, he has classes, he is sensible and can work alone, but he lacks the interaction with the teacher that he can only get at school and this is his final year of elementary school.
“It's very hard for my little girl, she missed half of the first year and refused to study at home – and now we're back.
“I think the effects will be felt in the years to come.
“I would have worked five days, but now I have to fit as much as possible into two days so that I can be there to look after the children and support them with their schoolwork.
“I will have to abandon some of my customers. I am only grateful that those who have children and are in the same position will understand.
“My husband was able to continue working from home, but he has to go to work a day or two a week so we just don't have a choice.
"I just hope they can come back in two weeks."
Will the exams be canceled AGAIN this summer?
Boris Johnson refused to rule out exams being canceled this summer after school principals called for the exams to be abolished.
The prime minister has come under pressure to cut GCSEs and high school diplomas because so many children have missed school since the pandemic began.
Secondary schools will have to close for the first two weeks of the semester to suppress Covid – especially the new, faster-spreading variant – and there are fears that the closure could last until February.
School principals have warned of major inequality in the system as some students are less prepared for the summer exams than others. When asked yesterday on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show whether exams should be canceled, the Prime Minister declined to rule out the idea, adding, “We need to be realistic about how quickly this new variant has spread to be realistic As to the impact this is having on our NHS, we must be humble in the face of this virus. & # 39;
There were no exams last summer. The GSCE and A-Level grades were based on teachers' assessments.
Education Minister Gavin Williamson insists the national exams must be done this summer despite Scotland and Wales abandoning them.
The Prime Minister's vow to cut “absurd” bureaucracy that thwarted voluntary vaccinations
The Prime Minister has ordered the elimination of the "absurd" red tape that prevents former health workers from signing up as vaccination volunteers.
Health chiefs are recruiting an army of volunteers to increase vaccination rates.
But retired doctors and nurses who applied were asked to provide 21 documents, including evidence that they had attended courses on combating racism and terrorism. They also had to prove that they had competence in the areas of fire protection, conflict resolution, human rights and data security.
They labeled the system "ridiculous" and "impossible" while the medical leaders called for a rethink.
Boris Johnson said ministers wanted to simplify the process, adding, "It's absurd. The health minister is taking steps to cut this pointless red tape."
But former Education Secretary Lord Baker told the Sunday Times that teachers should be allowed to grade their students instead.
He said teachers should take into account the number of days missed, adding, "They are better than algorithms and they are the only people who can potentially judge their students' performance during this extraordinary period of time."
More than 2,000 school principals from the WorthLess? Insist that health is not only compromised to protect exam schedules. They added: “Greater public health, the safety of students and staff should come before exams. Public safety should not be jeopardized or driven by an inflexible pursuit of GCSE and high school diplomas. "
One of its directors, Jules White, director of Tanbridge House School in Horsham, West Sussex, told the Sunday Times that there was "great skepticism that exams can be conducted fairly".
The group instead recommended teacher ratings for the final grades, saying it was more unfair for students to take exams in areas more affected by the pandemic.
But Anne Longfield, the England Commissioner for Children, said: "Most of the children I speak to want the exams to continue, but they clearly have to be fair."
A panel of experts will report to the Minister of Education recommending that exams be fair for children across England.
There are concerns about how to address the hidden drawbacks for children whose access to distance learning is poor.
Matt Hood, director of Oak National Academy, which the government hired to create online lessons, said a million children were forced to use their parents' cell phones to study because they did not have a phone or laptop.
The Department of Education said there are no plans to cancel exams.
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Boris Johnson (t) Birmingham (t) Coronavirus