Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, responding to the publication of the SAGE advice on wider opening of schools, said:
“It is in the interests of all those who will be affected by the wider opening of schools for the government to be transparent about the advice on which it is acting and to act upon the concerns raised by parents, school staff and teaching unions.
“Certainly on first reading the advice does not appear to provide the clear assurances regarding safety many school staff and parents were hoping for, stating that there is a high degree of uncertainty as to the susceptibility and infectivity of children.
“It also confirms that there will need to be clear communication to teachers and parents and that messages should be developed in partnership with teachers, parents, and students which sadly has not been the case in Government actions so far.
“Labour is calling for the government to urgently convene a taskforce of education unions, parents organisations and health experts to review this advice, agree upon a series of practical safety conditions that must be met within schools before the Government confirms a date for wider reopening and to confirm that test, track and trace will be fully operational.”