Commenting on the rise in the number of coronavirus clusters in schools (1), as revealed in the latest National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“As the rate of coronavirus continues to rise, so too does the disruption to education. Last week there were 104 outbreaks in primary schools, 127 in secondary schools and 20 in special schools. This is almost double the number just two weeks ago.

“Meanwhile the same report showed that the Department for Education have made no progress encouraging the mass testing of pupils. Less than 20% of secondary pupils took a coronavirus test last week which is virtually unchanged this half term and much lower than in March when 60% of pupils were taking a test.

“Gavin Williamson’s failure to act to reduce the spread of coronavirus in schools is shocking. We know that every day of education lost matters to a child and yet the Government appear to have written off the whole of this half-term.”

This morning, the joint general secretaries of the NEU wrote to Gavin Williamson asking him to explain the rationale and answer a number of questions about the policy decision to remove safety measures in education settings this month. You can read the full text here:

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