Schools reopening: Teacher hits out at Boris Johnson’s plans ‘No one’s going to do that!’

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Teacher John from Lewisham explained it would be incredibly difficult to enforce social distancing rules as people will not all wear a mask and keep two metres away from each other. It comes as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced it will be compulsory for all children to attend school in September. He warned that parents face fines if their children do not return to school.

Speaking to LBC, John said: “I’m a secondary school teacher and heard them saying that 30 children will be back in a classroom, which doesn’t work for so many reasons.

“To start with, I’ve got a class of 33. So do those three children have to stay at home and not be fined as we don’t have the capacity to fit them in?

“Also, we tell the children that on their way to school, they have to wear a facemask to get on to the train and you have to travel while social distancing.

“Then you arrive at the school building, at which point you have to remove your facemask and sit no more than 50cm away from each other because that’s how you fit 33 children inside a classroom that’s built for 28.

“Then, when you leave the classroom, you must make sure that you stay two-metre apart from people and put your facemask on. No-one’s going to do that.

“Even I’m not going to do that and I’m a teacher.”

His remarks came as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the Government of being “asleep at the wheel” on the issue of reopening schools, adding that there has been a “lack of planning”.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: “If you could put up Nightingale hospitals – a good thing to do – you can certainly put up temporary classrooms, you can certainly take over libraries, community centres.”

Mr Williamson said the Government is still consulting on how to return all pupils to the classroom in the autumn, but that advice for schools on reopening will be unveiled this week.

Some children began returning to school at the beginning of this month but, ahead of the phased reopening, the Government confirmed that parents who do not feel safe sending their children back to school would not face fines.

The latest Government figures show that around a third (34 percent) of all Year 6 children attended school on June 18, up from 26 percent on June 11.

Attendance was around a quarter (26 percent) in Year 1, up from a fifth the previous week, and 29 percent in Reception, up from 22 [ercent on June 11, the figures show.

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Speaking on Monday, Boris Johnson said the fact that more pupils are not back at school yet is a source of “deep frustration” for him.

The Prime Minister told Times Radio that teaching unions and councils should be saying “loud and clear” that schools are safe.

Asked if there will be a detailed plan for a return to school in September this week, Mr Williamson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There will. We’re going to take the opportunity to spell out exactly as to how we will see a full return for all children back into school before the end of this week.

“As I’m sure you’ll understand and appreciate at the moment, we’re consulting and talking with different people, whether it’s headteachers, whether it’s unions, whether it’s representative bodies.”

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