Calderdale’s Labour leadership have pledged to continue to do everything possible to stand by schools and teachers during the latest phase of the pandemic – helping them cope with the uncertainty caused by the Government’s mixed messages and changing requirements for schools.

Lead member for Children’s Services Adam Wilkinson said

“The staff in our schools have worked tirelessly to make sure that children and young people are as safe as possible, and that they continue to be educated throughout the pandemic. They deserve better than the continued mixed messages and constantly changing advice that Government has inflicted on them.

“At the moment, we’re fortunate that the infection rate in Calderdale is still lower than it was during the national lockdown in November. However we know this could change quickly so the situation is being reviewed on a daily basis.

“We have asked council officers to work closely with our primary schools to support those who are reopening this week, helping them make sure their safety measures are robust and helping them with testing for staff where they want this.

“But we also know that some schools may struggle in the next few days, and if heads and governors decide that they are unable to open safely, then they can be assured that we will stand by them.”

Labour council leader Tim Swift added

“We remain extremely concerned about the national position with the virus. We are lucky that so far we are not seeing the spiralling infection rates in Calderdale that have been seen elsewhere – not just in London and the South East, but in other areas where rates have been low.

“It’s very clear that the current tiers are not going to be enough to regain control over the rising infection rates. If the Prime Minister accepts that tougher restrictions are going to be needed, then he needs to act now, with consistent national restrictions – it cannot make sense that schools are moving to largely remote learning in some areas whilst in others shoppers are still crowding into shopping centres.

“We have seen that when the Government delays, lives and jobs are both put at risk. We need clarity now about what measures are needed, not more bluster and prevarication.”

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