Monday, 18 May 2020

Letter to Halifax Courier regarding schools re-opening

Regarding schools reopening 

Mark Metcalf
A NUJ and Sports Journalists’ Association member 
07392 852561

Dear Halifax Courier,

As the trade union liaison officer for Halifax Constituency Labour Party I would like to express my solidarity for teachers in the public sector. They are, in a move not being imposed on private schools, being forced to return to work when it appears unsafe to do so as their is little evidence the pandemic is under control never mind defeated. 

Teachers are keen to do everything they can to support all of their students and those that can have been working through the crisis to support young people and their families, but there is a very real risk that prematurely opening schools risks allowing the virus to spread more rapidly amongst our communities. The five demands put forward by the NEU offer a framework for the safer re-opening of schools, but so far the government have not engaged meaningfully with these demands. 

In the event that any teachers decide to collectively not go into work I would support this initiative and would urge other trade unionists to do the same. 

Meanwhile, as a parent of a schoolchild I have spoken to other parents who are not convinced it is safe to reopen schools and in the event of a parents boycott being organised I would support this. 

Council wise, Liverpool and Hartlepool councils have both said they will not be reopening schools on 1 June and it would be good if this was also the case across Calderdale. 

Mark Metcalf 

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