The Socialist

The Socialist 1 July 2020

Tories put profit before lives

The Socialist issue 1093

A socialist NHS fit for heroes


PCS: Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

Come to the NSSN conference

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

Trade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

Equity union president elections

Tower Hamlets council strike

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak


Workers need a new mass party to defend their interests


Tories put profit before lives

Boris's new big deal

Tory full return to school plans gamble with lives

Yes to self-identity: Fight for trans rights

Benefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

Capitalism and corruption go hand in hand

Plastic waste ignored

News in brief


I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

Black Lives Matter has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Red flags line road for Ken Douglas


75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government


From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

Readers' opinion

 
 
 
 
 

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Coronavirus

Tory full return to school plans gamble with lives

  (Click to enlarge)

Martin Powell-Davies, National Education Union and Socialist Party member

The government's plans for a full return to schools in September make crystal clear it has no interest in our safety or the genuine education needs of our children.

While the real dangers to public health are unfolding in Leicester, reports have been leaked which show that the Tories are gambling that children won't spread infection in the classroom.

But the scientific evidence still suggests children can transmit the virus to each other - and back to their families - even when they aren't showing symptoms themselves. It will be those most at risk - particularly working-class and BAME communities - that again stand to lose the most.

Test, track and trace

Without an adequate test, track and trace system in place to really protect against outbreaks, schools have had to take what precautions they can to slow widespread transmission of the virus.

Most have been operating with 'bubbles' of the same children always being taught together. That way, if there is an infected pupil or staff member, the risk is hopefully restricted to that group and their contacts.

Up to now, those 'bubbles' have been limited to a maximum of 15 children, but education secretary Gavin Williamson wants that increased to a full primary class of 30 or more.

In secondary schools, they propose teaching in full year groups of perhaps hundreds of students. Simple statistics shows that massively increases the risk of transmission. But there are to be no face coverings, and no physical distancing that would require extra space or make it impossible for all pupils to return full-time.

The other steps Williamson is recommending just shows he has no idea about education. He wants children sat in rows, facing the front, mainly learning English and Maths. If students or parents object to this Dickensian world, schools will be expected to have a focus on 'persistently disruptive' pupils, and parents will be fined if their children aren't in school.

Staff and their unions are understandably weary after a long term of teaching in difficult conditions, and having to battle a callous government. But the coronavirus is showing that it isn't about to give up any time soon. Nor must the trade unions!

We have to stand firm and refuse to implement plans that are so blatantly unsafe for public health and children's wellbeing.


Wales: Disastrous reopening of schools

Ross Saunders, Socialist Party Wales

Reports have flooded in from teachers about the totally unprepared state of many schools as they opened in Wales, particularly the failure to deep clean in between transitioning from hub schools for key workers to schools for all children.

Others report the failure to have in place procedures to limit physical contact between children and staff, or lacking supplies of protective equipment.

But even the best preparation won't be enough. The lockdown in Leicester is being reimposed because of a fresh outbreak that risks getting out of control after the schools reopened - and they reopened to far fewer children than Wales has.

The Welsh government should keep schools and workplaces shut, and ensure everyone is on full pay in this emergency period.


In this issue


No going back

A socialist NHS fit for heroes


Workplace news

PCS: Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

Come to the NSSN conference

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

Trade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

Equity union president elections

Tower Hamlets council strike

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak


What we think

Workers need a new mass party to defend their interests


News

Tories put profit before lives

Boris's new big deal

Tory full return to school plans gamble with lives

Yes to self-identity: Fight for trans rights

Benefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

Capitalism and corruption go hand in hand

Plastic waste ignored

News in brief


Campaigns

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

Black Lives Matter has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Red flags line road for Ken Douglas


Lessons from history

75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government


Readers' opinion

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

Readers' opinion


 

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