This week I am talking about the threat of schools being place on lockdown again because of continued Test & Trace failures by our government.
Education is something very dear to my heart.
It is the one tool that equalises all: giving an opportunity to anyone who is willing to put in the work to make themselves better.
My grandparents and great-grandparents were very big on education.
Even though they worked as farmers and cattlemen, they made sure every member of the family had a college degree.
Education was, quite simply, non-negotiable.
Unfortunately we currently face dark times when it comes to education in London.
According to a recent poll by the Prince’s Trust, urgent action is needed now to prevent our 16-25 year olds from becoming a “lost generation”, with 41% of young people believing that their future goals now seem “impossible to achieve.”
This is unacceptable.
We must put Education First to ensure that our younger generation get the world class education they deserve.
One glaring barrier to that is that four out of five schools currently have children isolating because they can’t get a test! Head teachers say that schools are being forced to close because so few tests are available and the system is chaotic and has ground to a halt.
A survey of 736 school leaders by the leadership union NAHT found:
- 82% of schools have children currently not attending because they cannot access a test to rule out Covid-19
- 87% have children not in attendance because they are waiting for their results
- 45% report they have staff currently not at work because they cannot get a test
- 60% of schools report staff staying home awaiting the results of a test
The General Secretary of the NAHT, Paul Whiteman commented that: “Tests need to be readily available for everyone so that pupils and staff who test negative can get back into school quickly. The government assured us that this would be ready, but at the first sign of stress it seems to be falling over. This will put the successful and sustainable return to school at serious risk.”
Our elected officials must do more.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Heads have told me they find it extremely frustrating that they have made their schools Covid secure but then find out it has been undone by the lack of tests.”
What’s more, the problem. is getting worse!
Aggregated anonymous data from management information system provider Arbor shows the number of Covid-related absences in schools has risen every day this week. On Monday, 3.5% of pupils were self-isolating, rising to 3.9% by Wednesday.
Put simply, our government has not prepared our education system for the virus. Head teachers warn of “lockdown by default” and have written to Boris Johnson begging him to resolve the situation.
Schools Could Be Locked Down Again – Test & Trace Failures Creating A “Lost Generation”
Real Deal is your chance to join me LIVE to discuss the big issues and I want you to get involved by sending me your questions and opinions.
This week I’m particularly keen to hear your thoughts on:
- How would another school lockdown affect you?
- What do you think of our test & trace system?
- How can we prevent creating a “lost generation”?
- Do we need better leadership?