Commenting on Anne Longfield’s remarks about the wider opening of schools, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
“The NEU understands the importance of education to all children and particularly the most vulnerable. That is why teachers, leaders and support staff have been working throughout the pandemic caring for vulnerable children in schools and supporting children learning at home.
“We all want schools to open – as soon as it is safe to do so. The NEU’s five tests do not require a vaccine, which will be many months away. Today the government responded to our tests. We will look at the evidence supporting their response and make an informed judgement as to what extent they have been met.
“We think it is very important that anecdote does not replace evidence in this pandemic. Today the British Medical Association supported our five tests. The BMA’s Public Health Medicine Committee said that ‘until we have got the case numbers much lower, we should not consider re-opening schools.’”