Education Union Now Claims Closure of Schools is a “Last Resort” mdi-fullscreen

This morning the National Education Union is levelling for a slice of the strike pie – currently all the rage with their fellow public sector comrades. Ahead of a meeting between her and the Education Secretary today, Joint General Secretary of the NEU Mary Bousted popped up on the Today Programme to argue “Children are being harmed every day by the crisis of the workforce shortages in our schools”. When challenged about potential strike action, Bousted told listeners that harming children’s access to education because of strikes is the “last thing we want to do”. A seemingly new-found view within the NEU…

In the dying days of the pandemic – October 2021 – the union was still calling for the reintroduction of school bubbles and other practices that would restrict children’s access to the classroom, a time well after the final peak of the virus when deaths were down to 120 a day. A Bousted flush of a policy…

Two months later in December 2021, the NEU called for a ‘plan B’ for schools, which would have forced those with Covid contacts to isolate:

“Children who have a sibling or other household member with covid-19 should not attend school/college until they have had a negative PCR test – as in Scotland – in addition to the Government guidance of 10-day isolation on close contacts of confirmed or suspected Omicron cases.”

“Government to issue guidance to all schools and colleges on safe organisation of gatherings and meetings, including options for social distancing or virtual events, based on factors including local case rates, outbreaks in the school/college itself, quality of ventilation and space available.”

In January 2022, Bousted arguedThe danger is we lift restrictions too quickly before the effects of returning to school are clear”. In other words, just this time last year the NEU’s attitude was to favour as many restrictions as possible on kids’ access to the classroom – far from such policies being “the last thing we want to do”. Forgive Guido for not buying the current line…

mdi-tag-outline BBC NEU Strikes Today
mdi-account-multiple-outline Mary Bousted
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