Teaching unions are ‘supporting’ social division, says campaigner

Monday, May 18, 2020

Unions that oppose the government’s plan to begin reopening of schools from early June are encouraging social division, according to an education campaigner.

The government aims to send Reception, Year one and Year six pupils back to school in a phased approach from June 1.

Its scientific advisory group has reportedly been considering a study which suggests children are “not primary spreaders” of Covid-19.

But teaching and medical unions have come out against the move, saying it is too early and poses a health risk to teachers.

The British Medical Association, a trade union for doctors and nurses, has supported the National Education Union in its opposition to reopening schools.

It said not enough is yet known about the spread of coronavirus among children and warned that schools should not be opened until the number of virus cases is “much lower.”

However, Chris McGovern, from Campaign for Real Education, told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “The voice of the unions is a voice of support for the privileged.”

He said: “The posh kids in their private schools, they get a full load of online lessons and other good states schools, they provide a full repertoire of lessons.

“The poor kids who have got no supportive parents, who maybe haven’t got any parents at all, who are left to their own devices, they’re getting nothing, they’re falling further and further behind.”

“It’s remarkable isn’t it, that we’ve got the unions here supporting this great division in social privilege.”

Read more

Andy Burnham: Lockdown changes ‘too soon’ for North West

Julia Hartley-Brewer: Teachers don’t need praise for just doing job

talkRADIO: Listen live for the latest updates on Covid-19