The Chartered College of Teaching has responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will reopen 1 June. This follows the government saying its five tests have been met.
Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, said:
“It is encouraging to see that there is progress being made in reducing the rate of infection to manageable levels. However, with the R number still so close to 1 and the test and trace system in its infancy, there are still strong risks that R could be pushed above 1 by reopening more widely. These steps must be closely monitored and frequently reviewed. Our schools do not exist in a bubble, they are part of the fabric of society. The Government must not just see this as a green light to continuously push ahead.
The Government needs to acknowledge that there is a high level of anxiety across our profession. While there is a collective desire from the profession to deliver high-quality teaching for all pupils, the concerns are based on questions of safety and should be listened to. We are still awaiting answers from the Prime Minister to our letter which asked for clarity on the rationale for this June 1st date. We recognise the impact that school closures may have on our most disadvantaged pupils. However, it is not clear how reopening schools to selected year groups is the most effective way to prevent the disadvantage gap from widening still further. In addition, this move to a mixture of remote and school learning will place added pressure on our teachers.
We know that there are no easy answers. Teachers have shown tremendous professionalism and dedication to their pupils throughout this crisis, we need to see that they are supported in these next steps by the Government.”