Teacher criticises Government for 'punitive' handling of Greenwich Council on schools

15 December 2020, 15:08

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment a teacher said the Government is being "punitive" towards Greenwich Council for telling its schools to switch to remote learning.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told Greenwich council to keep schools open to all pupils or it will face legal action.

Schools in the south-east London borough had been told by the council to switch to remote learning for most pupils from Monday evening in a letter from council leader Danny Thorpe.

But now the council leader has issued a statement saying the borough will 'reluctantly' keep schools open in order to comply with the Government demand.

Lily from Watford, who is herself a teacher, told James O'Brien: "There are schools, I know from my own personal experience, where people have had to shut because they cannot staff the schools.

"And they have situations where senior leaders within the school, members of staff and children have had to isolate because there are too many cases within the school."

She added: "I just feel that with Greenwich [Council] what the Government are doing is they're being punitive.

"They're being utterly punitive for no real reason. This is happening all over the place and it's being done for the safety of the pupils.

Lily also said that Greenwich Council had "shown leadership" by telling schools in the borough to switch to remote learning.