Pupils pose no risk of spreading Covid, says study, as Gavin Williamson ‘faces the chop if he doesn’t get schools open again in September
- The piece of research involved testing more than 20,000 students and teachers
- It comes as Boris Johnson has said opening schools next month is a ‘moral duty’
- Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is under pressure to deliver on PM’s vow
Pupils pose no risk of spread Covid-19, a new study has revealed, as it emerges the under-pressure Education Secretary faces the sack if he doesn’t get schools back open in September.
The piece of research involved testing more than 20,000 students and teachers in 100 institutions across the country to monitor the spread of the pandemic, as reported by The Sunday Times.
Leading scientist Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a member of Sage said: ‘A new study that has been done in UK schools confirms there is very little evidence that the virus is transmitted in schools.
‘This is some of the largest data you will find on schools anywhere. Britain has done very well in terms of thinking of collecting data in schools.’
It comes as Boris Johnson, writing in the Mail On Sunday, has said opening schools next month is a ‘moral duty’ and said resuming teaching is a ‘national priority.’
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is under pressure to deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise and ‘his head will be on the chopping block’ if he does not succeed
Getting children back to school is set to be an acid-test for the government that has been criticised in some quarters for opening pubs and restaurants before sorting out education for the future generations.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is under pressure to deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise and ‘his head will be on the chopping block’ if he does not succeed.
Dr Mary Bousted, head of the National Education Union, urged schools to ignore ‘threatening noises’ from the Government and refuse to reopen if they feel it is unsafe.
Many parents have been angered after schools told them they will educate their children only until lunchtime on at least one day of the week, on the grounds that they need time to implement extra safety requirements such as deep cleaning and staggered break times.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of getting all children back in school in September during a series of No 10 meetings last week, emphasising his expectation that education should be ‘the absolutely last sector’ to be asked to close in local lockdowns – with businesses such as shops, pubs and restaurants forced to close first.
In his article, Mr Johnson argues that it is ‘crucial’ for ‘their welfare, their health and for their future’ that children should return to the classrooms full-time. He writes: ‘We can do it – and we will do it. Social justice demands it.’
He spoke of the ‘uplifting sight… as millions of parents rose to the challenge of educating their children’ amid the added pressures of lockdown, but said that had to end.