Commenting on Gavin Williamson's COVID press briefing this evening, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

"The National Education Union was pleased to hear the Secretary of State restate that a wider opening of schools on June 1st is conditional on the Government passing certain tests, and pleased to hear Mr Williamson say that the Government will be closely monitoring the impact of this weeks loosening on the R rate and the overall case count, before deciding to take further measures.

"This is sensible. We will take up Mr Williamson’s statement that his door is open in order to seek to engage in discussions about a safe way forward and to better understand the tests the Government believes it must pass. In that context we would particularly like to discuss our own five tests which have been endorsed by the British Medical Association and also to examine the arrangements made in schools in Denmark.
 
"We are pleased to hear the concern that so many politicians are expressing for disadvantaged children. These concerns are vital to our members and our union. Given that it seems likely that many children may not be able to return to school for sometime we are also keen to discuss with the DFE ways that we can support those children now and build back better as schooling eventually resumes.
 

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EDITORS NOTES

The National Education Union’s 5 Tests: https://neu.org.uk/press-releases/5-tests-government-before-schools-can-re-open

The BMA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBMA/status/1261281483106508801

“We’ve written to @NEUnion to offer our support to teachers and education professionals who are urging caution over plans to reopen schools before there is clear evidence to support the safety of such a move.”
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