Lincolnshire County Labour Group

5th January 2021

Chop and Change School Closure Policy from Mr Johnson

Councillor Julie Killey, Shadow Executive member for Children and Young People on Lincolnshire County Council welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that all schools should close at once but regretted the hesitancy and delay in taking that decision.

She said:

It has been clear for some time that both primary and secondary schools should remain closed and teaching should take place remotely so as to prevent children and young people acting as ‘passers-on’ or vectors of Covid-19.

The announcement that primary schools in Lincolnshire and elsewhere were to close from Tuesday, whilst welcomed, meant that many parents had little or no time to make necessary child-care arrangements.  That was not good enough.

What is clear is that on 22 December SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency) suggested  that there was evidence to show that infections would increase if schools were to re-open after the Christmas break.  Yet as recently as Sunday on the Andrew Marr programme the Prime Minister was saying ‘There is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe’. Thirty-six hours later, he announced that all schools were to close.

Here in Lincolnshire, the Council Leader, Martin Hill, is reported on Monday 4 January as saying ‘while it is up to local head teachers to manage the situation as best they can, it is our expectation that all of our primary schools will reopen.’  Later that day, the Prime Minister announced that all schools were to close the next day!

Before becoming a County Councillor, I was a teacher for over 30 years and in my experience that in the normal running of schools providing a safe environment and child protection are paramount.  These key issues, seriously important when OFSTED inspect schools, have been flagrantly ignored by the government.

Councillor Julie Killey can be contacted on 01522 535726 and 07807817120 and cllrj.killey@lincolnshire.gov.uk

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