Member of Parliament for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, has condemned the appalling attacks on teachers across the UK following the Government’s irresponsible decision to begin reopening schools on June 1st. Mr Lavery echoed the words of Teaching Unions such as the NEU and called for schools in his Wansbeck Constituency to only be reopened when it is entirely safe to do so.
Mr Lavery said; “Parents are obviously worried at the amount of direct teaching their children are missing due to the pandemic, however having had hundreds of messages from constituents I am aware that many will keep their children at home regardless of what the Government decides to do. Many people are being forced into a difficult position as the lockdown continues to be lifted, some of whom are being encouraged back to work in non essential workplaces now feel they are being forced to choose between being paid and their children’s safety. Without providing evidence that children will be safe and that they will not act to further seed COVID 19 into our communities, the government’s decision seems irresponsible.”
I have written to the government firstly, to ask that schools only open when it is safe for them to do so and secondly if they do go ahead with this that any parent who takes the decision to keep their children out of school is protected and cannot be financially penalised by their employer and continue to receive state support. If schools do reopen the ability of parents to decide whether it is safe to send their children back or not should not be based on their income.
Mr Lavery said that he would be meeting local members of the NEU and hosting a zoom call with school staff and teachers across Wansbeck in coming days to discuss how he can best support them as the elected representative for the area. He will also continue to liaise with the CEO of Northumberland County Council to understand their plans and express his concerns.
Wansbeck Constituents can keep up to date with Mr Lavery’s support for local teachers and families by following his Social Media channels at; www.facebook.com/ianlaverymp / Twitter @IanLaveryMP / Instagram @IanLaveryMP
To read the full statement from the National Education Union on the developments of UK Education during COVID-19, please visit the link below: https://neu.org.uk/coronavirus-what-we-say-today