Lockdown 3

Continuing the discussion from London & South East going into Tier 4, schools delay reopening:

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Incredible that the facts should change so significantly in the space of a single day. Children going back to school for a single day shows poor leadership and more concern about having a quiet weekend than care for schools, teachers, children and parents. There is no excuse for changing guidance to London schools at 5pm on Friday and then realising the rest of the country’s schools need to close on their first day back.


I think the unfortunate reality is that militant teaching unions have successfully organised against schools reopening.

And this forced the government’s hand.

It’s a win-win for the unions. Not only do their members get to avoid coming into work, but political points can now be scored against the government for making a “u-turn”

It’s all a bit ugly and partisan at a time when the nation should be rallying together to fight a global threat.

I feel sorry for the hardworking taxpayers who will again be forced to work to support their families (and ironically, to pay teachers’ salaries) while trying to home-school their kids. An almost impossible situation for many families. And of course the millions of kids being denied vital education and social contact.

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Can we not turn this into political ping pong please. It’s not a good situation for many people and I don’t think anyone has had a quiet weekend.

Perhaps we could try and focus on some positives instead.


If this was just about schools then the golf courses would not be closing too.
The government has made the right decision to lock down based on the evidence, not pressure from unions.

The unions were doing the right thing in expressing concerns that their workplaces may no longer be safe (based on the same scientific evidence that led the government to enforce the latest lockdown), and I have a huge amount of admiration for the dedication of the teachers who have continued to risk their health by educating our children over the last few months. The teachers will still be working now - organising online learning, hopefully running some online classes and in-person teaching for children of key workers.

The big positive is the vaccination program and the intention to vaccinate 31,000,000 people in the next six weeks. If this can be done, then it will make a massive difference to death rates and reduce the spread of the virus.
It is particularly sensible to do this during a lockdown. Because after this lockdown (and the worst of the winter weather) there is a good chance that many people will no longer want any form of restrictions. With 31m people vaccinated life may begin to return to normal for many people.


Let’s hope that the medical unions don’t make a similar unilateral judgement to keep their members away from an unsafe working environment.

There is no such thing as a 100% “safe” working environment, by the way.

Society relies on public servants stepping up at a time of national need. Thank goodness for the heroic police, firefighters and medics who continue to work during the pandemic despite an unsafe environment. In doing so they keep society functioning for the benefit of everyone.

Let’s also not forget postal workers, shop staff, caters, charity workers,utility, infrastructure and construction workers, nursery and transport staff who may not be saving lives but are out in the public keeping the economy going and providing a service to the public whilst putting their health at risk.


The issue is more that children are rapidly getting infected in schools and then taking it back in to homes. That is the danger.


Also workers have a right to express concerns about unsafe working situations, medical staff have been very vocal about inadequate PPE etc…


I heard on the radio this morning that doctors were concerned that they don’t have suitable PPE in non-Covid wards. It is good that they make these concerns known without withdrawing their labour.
Out of all the public services mentioned it is only police and primary school teachers who routinely have to interact unmasked with people not wearing masks. For this reason I hope that teachers and police are some of the first vaccinated once those whose health is most at risk are vaccinated.


I find all this vilifying of teachers a bit ugly and partisan at a time when the nation should be rallying together to fight a global threat.


Surely one thing which would work would be to acknowledge that Teachers are KEY WORKERS, and put them ahead of the vaccinations due to be given to the fit ‘oldies’ - me included - (I think most of us understand the need for caution and are taking care).

Let’s provide the teachers with the confidence to get back in the classrooms - too many have caught Covid.


I’m not sure you understand what “partisan” means but nice try.

By the way, my comments were aimed at the unions, and at those trying to score political points against the government at a time of crisis.

I’m sure there are many teachers, particularly in the private school system, who are dilligently continuing to work.

@pattrembath makes a good point about the pressing need to vaccinate teachers.

Teachers are working, they are working from home like most of us are. There are of course still schools open for vulnerable children and those of key workers.


I agree with @PV and others that we should be supporting all our key workers at this time, not pitting one profession against another. Teachers & heads have been doing an incredible job throughout the pandemic, in hugely challenging circumstances (and of course continue to work while schools are shut, ensuring that children can learn remotely - they’re not on holiday!). Let’s show them appreciation, and advocate for them to get the support they need in order to work safely (vaccinations, mass testing, PPE etc).


Firstly, are all teachers working full time on providing remote learning?

From a previous lockdown, The Guardian reported:

How can remote learning be effective? Is it realistic to expect primary age kids to sit for hours paying attention to a lesson delivered online? And surely they’ll need constant parent supervision?

The BBC reports:

I get the impression that several people opining on this thread about school closures don’t have children of their own, and thus don’t fully understand the situation here. Am I right?

I get the impression that several people opining on this thread about school closures aren´t teachers, and thus don’t fully understand the situation here. Am I right?


I don’t know, I am not a teacher or school leader.

None of this is ideal and I assume everyone would rather children were all in school. I don’t doubt remote learning is harder, I have been remote working in a very busy public sector role since March, it is utterly utterly exhausting.

All I am saying is give teachers a break, along with pretty much all frontline and key workers they are doing their best in a horribly difficult and exhausting situation, there are no good options here, only least worse ones.


Are you a teacher?

Morning all

Somewhat ironically in view of how this thread is going, I’m trying to homeschool 2 primary age children, whilst studying online myself today with my wife working.

Other moderators will be in the same boat or have pressing work etc so we are not going to have time to come back to check this thread every 20 minutes - could we try and keep this on track, locally focussed (although some cross-over is inevitable) and most definitely not personal.