Teaching unions in Cumbria demand delay to Spring term for primaries

Teaching unions want a delay to the Spring term for primary schools. Credit: PA

A teaching union in Cumbria is calling all of its members who teach in primary schools to demand that the new term is delayed in response to rising COVID cases. 

Secondary schools already have a delayed start to the Spring term but primaries are due to reopen on Monday. 

The National Education Union says the health of staff, students and the wider community must be prioritised and primary schools should follow secondary schools with a delay to classroom learning.  

It's a reckless decision, the government has made a political choice that they are going to keep schools open regardless. They are ignoring the science and they are basically putting educators, children and communities at serious, serious danger. The evidence is very clear that schools and colleges have been vectors of this virus.

Louise Atkinson, Junior Vice President National Education Union

On Friday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that all primary schools in London will remain closed next week rather than just those in certain boroughs as set out earlier in the week following the government's latest U-turn.

Unions say extending that to all schools in England is “the only sensible and credible option”.

Carlisle and Eden have two of the highest growing rates of coronavirus in the country. 

It seems to us the government is waiting time and time again for things to get to a desperate situation before they do anything. That's more unsettling for children and young people and it is more disruptive to education then to do it in an organised way.

Louise Atkinson, NEU