'The government must be patient on schools and protect teachers'

Classrooms looking very different to the friendly places before the coronavirus underline why teachers are demanding proper protection from the plague.

Confidence in the Government is low after the care home and PPE disasters so we advise Tory Ministers to not smear but treat professionals with respect, publish all the scientific evidence and engage positively.

We want schools to restart but it must never be at the cost of endangering pupils and all the staff, from cleaners and caretakers to secretaries and teachers themselves, who make these centres of learning a success.

Every parent knows keeping young children apart is difficult, tape on floor a barrier easily crossed in moments of excitement.

Councils are refusing to open schools by June 1 in some parts of England (file photo)

The same parents are aware that kids bring home colds and nits, so the threat of spreading the deadly Covid-19 bug is serious.

So let’s get this right, not rush it for an artificial political deadline imposed by a Government cracking the whip. Teachers, like everybody else, are entitled to demand protection for themselves and families.

Shield matters

We must not let as many as two million people shielding at home be neglected by the public authorities.

The coronavirus is far from beaten, a second surge remaining a dangerous risk, so many of the vulnerable with existing health conditions will understandably not wish to gamble with their lives by venturing out until later.

In the Government’s propaganda cacophony to drive millions back to work, it would be painfully unfair if those calls were to first silence then leave overlooked people shielding.

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We all matter, despite Ministers sounding as if they only care about those in a job.

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