Tower Hamlets & the City Update 21st September 2020


We are only three weeks into the new term and already we can see that the government is letting schools down, through its failure to have a robust system of testing and tracing in place, and a clear plan to support schools when positive cases occur.

The government says that keeping schools open is a priority and that closing them will be a last resort.

The NEU agrees with this and we know that, across Tower Hamlets, school staff have worked hard to put measure in place to welcome children back from the start of term.

However, for the return to schools to be sustainable we urgently need:

• Clearer guidance and support systems
• A much better system of test and trace
• Funding to employ more staff and reduce class sizes
Plan B for when closures do have to happen
• Greater support for children and families
• Measures to address the “digital divide
The government had six months to prepare for this, and the uncertainty many of us feel at the moment is down to them.

  1. Tower Hamlets and the City NEU has sent this letter to our local Tower Hamlets councillors and MPs, highlighting our concerns and asking for their support in raising these issues with the government.
  2. The National Education Union has sent this letter to Boris Johnson. Read the NEU press release on this letter and the failure of the government to address school safety.
Joint General Secretaries video

In response to queries from NEU members we have produced this briefing and leaflet, outlining the steps to be taken in various scenarios when people display symptoms of Covid-19. We trust you will find this helpful. If you have had any experiences of getting a test, or trying to get a test, that you would like to share with us please email me.

We will be discussing these issues, and how we can to continue to support members, at our NEU Zoom meeting on Monday 21st September at 5:00pm. All members are invited and I would encourage to come along and join the discussion – register for the meeting here.

That’s all for now, if you have any questions or concerns please talk to your school Rep or contact us.

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