Despite soaring infection rates, students in Tier 4 areas are expected to return to classrooms in January and are demanding safety first
School students have been failed by this government throughout the pandemic. From the lack of provisions for online learning during the first wave to being forced into returning to school in September with completely insufficient social distancing measures, this government has held the safety of students in contempt.
Now students in Tier 4 areas are being forced to return to school in January, despite the new 70% faster strain, soaring infection rates, and still-insufficient social distancing measures. SE Safe Schools is a grassroots organisation set up by students in Tier 4 areas concerned about the safety of teachers, support staff and students.
We have three key demands:
1 Move Tier 4 schools online until they’re COVID-secure
- Move to online learning for 3 weeks max while improved provisions are organised
- Stronger national policy on school bubble systems, and when the bubble bursts
- Improved PPE provisions in schools, particularly for support staff e.g. cleaners
- Online lessons for teachers and students with vulnerable family members
- Improved social distancing via blended learning
- Consider rota systems, supported by National Education Union
2 Vaccinations for teachers
- Immediate roll-out of vaccines to teachers as a prioritised group
- Prioritisation for at-risk parents with children in school
3 Provisions for disadvantaged students
- In-person staggered transition for disadvantaged and those in digital poverty
- Students further behind in their education should be able to continue going to school in-person
- While provisions are organised to facilitate the temporary move to online learning, students in digital poverty should be able to access lessons in-person while laptop loans can be organised
- Mental health provisions – small weekly digital catch-up sessions for those doing online lessons
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