'There's no such thing as Covid secure schools', says teacher, urging for closures

14 December 2020, 14:43

By Fiona Jones

This teacher calls for the immediate closure of schools as "there's no such thing" as a Covid secure learning environment.

It comes after London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked the government to consider closing secondary schools in London for Christmas as early as tomorrow amid fears the capital will be plunged into Tier 3 this week.

He told LBC a decision on putting London into Tier 3 could come as early as today after MPs were told of an “exponential growth” in coronavirus cases.

Speaking to Andrew Castle, teacher Gemma urged for online learning as "there's no such thing as a Covid secure school", especially voicing her concern that restrictions will also be relaxed over the Christmas period.

She said the biggest reason that the school buildings should shut is the lack of social distancing, which is a "worry for all teachers."

"If we want to have a safe Christmas and keep everybody safe, then the physical building should close and that we should go on to online learning for the next few days just to make sure everyone can be as safe as possible," she said, positing that school closures should have been announced alongside the Christmas relaxation plans.

Read more: Christmas Covid rules: Can we mix households and can we make a Christmas bubble?

She told Andrew that she'd been at school on Friday and seen a group of boys huddled over a phone: "I just thought to myself if one of them has got the virus, all of them have got the virus.

"I might not know what year they were in [or] exactly what bubble they were in, so it's impossible to send everyone home.

"If you want to be safe, the physical school building has to be shut down for these two days and we can go on to online learning."

Andrew agreed that there is "no way" pupils will behave in a way that means the school is Covid secure.

"There is no such thing as Covid secure in schools, that does not exist," Gemma said, "you're safer going into a restaurant than you are going into a school."