Teaching union boss says government coronavirus advice on schools is still unclear

23 August 2020, 15:54

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The joint boss of the National Education Union has said Government advice on coronavirus safety in schools needs to be clearer ahead of reopening in September.

Kevin Courtney said he wants more precise guidance for teachers on protective measures such as face masks before they return to classrooms next month.

He told LBC: "We need to look at what the best science is on this question.

"The World Health Organisation are saying that children over 12 should wear masks, but I'm not clear whether they're saying they should wear masks when they're in a classroom or whether they're saying they should wear masks in the corridor when passing other children.

National Education Union boss Kevin Courtney has said government advice on coronavirus safety in schools needs to be clearer ahead of reopening in September
National Education Union boss Kevin Courtney has said government advice on coronavirus safety in schools needs to be clearer ahead of reopening in September. Picture: LBC/PA Images

Mr Courtney added that he agreed with England's chief medical officer Chris Whitty and his counterparts in other nations, who said today that kids not returned to school could be worse than getting the virus.

"The best for children is in school - that's where they should be," he added.

"But they also say there's a danger that the R rate will go above 1 and therefore we need to look at what measures we need to take to ensure that doesn't happen."

He suggested improving the Government's Test and Trace service would help and that clearer measures would provide teachers with the confidence to start working at school again.