I share the concerns of parents and teachers in Bolton, and across the country, who view 1 June as too soon for schools to reopen.
The utmost care must be taken when we reopen schools, to ensure that we do not endanger the health of teachers, students or the wider public. I do not believe that this can be done by setting arbitrary deadlines and picking fights with teachers’ unions.
Everyone wants schools to reopen, but I have not heard from a single parent or teacher who believes that the 1 June opening is appropriate or safe. The Government has not done enough to convince them, or me, that the plans in place are enough to safeguard public health and prevent the progress gained from social distancing and the lockdown being squandered.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, and raised these concerns with him and I have posted a copy of this letter below.
I know that this is something that my Opposition colleagues and I will continue to raise with the Government.