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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

Fund the measures needed to stop the Covid spread in schools

  (Click to enlarge)

Jane Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party and NEU

The increasing number of Covid cases among pupils, and the need for school 'bubbles' to isolate, means that over 370,000 pupils are in isolation and having to learn at home. An increasing number of educators are also being infected, risking their health.

But the Department for Education is suggesting that the requirement to isolate for students who have come into contact with a positive case in school could be scrapped in the autumn.

Schools have been totally let down during the pandemic, leaving staff exhausted and children missing out on lessons. Parents who have to juggle work and childcare responsibilities when children are isolating are frustrated, and rightfully so. The lack of financial support for those isolating or forced to stay at home to look after their children has a detrimental impact on the whole family.

What is more, there has been little or no investment in making schools safer. With excessive class sizes and inadequate space and ventilation in many schools, it is no wonder the virus spreads.

Mask wearing, a proven method of mitigating the risks of transmitting the virus, has been relaxed by the government in schools, although many schools have been forced to reintroduce it after huge rises in the numbers of cases.

Trade union health and safety reps have pushed schools to adopt safer work practices. If the government relaxes its expectations on mitigations in schools, and allows pupils in close proximity to a positive case to remain in school, the spread of the virus will again take hold, as we are already starting to see. The reliance on inaccurate lateral flow tests is not going to solve the problem.

This government is playing 'gung ho' with our health in a drive to protect profits. But if more reliable and effective mitigations were implemented and funded, Covid cases could be reduced significantly.

We demand an immediate investment in schools to ensure:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 7 July 2021:


What we think

Batley & Spen byelection: Another condemnation of Starmer's New Labour


The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


News

Fund the measures needed to stop the Covid spread in schools

Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence


Workplace news

Royal London Hospital strike win

Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

Striking Ealing parking attendants rally outside council

Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

Oaks Park strikers rally


Socialist history

Terry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant


International news

COP26: Socialist change to end the climate crisis

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload


Campaigns news

Rising against a rigged and rotten system

Why did I choose the Socialist Party?

Housing: Join the service charge 'strike'

Stop environmental destruction in Barnsley

"It's great to be back": Come to a Socialist Party in-person meeting

We need funds to fight Tory NHS attacks

Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


Reviews

The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


 

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Related links:

Schools:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Material deprivation and the impact on schools

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

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trianglePreparing for struggle in post-Covid Britain

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triangleExhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

triangleBook review: Shuggie Bain

NEU:

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