Shadow schools minister: Williamson needs to stop 'failing' and vaccinate teachers

25 January 2021, 15:51

Wes Streeting urges Williamson to roll out mass testing in schools

By Fiona Jones

Shadow schools minister Wes Streeting is calling for the education secretary to roll out mass testing for teachers, after making many 'fundamental failures.'

His comments came after the PM announced that teachers and parents will be told when schools in England can reopen "as soon as we can."

MPs including Mr Streeting are urging the Government to set out clear criteria for children returning to schools, amid concerns for education.

Mr Streeting told LBC: "Gavin Williamson's got to listen to the people are making about the effectiveness of the Government's strategy for rolling out mass testing.

"What we ended up with was an announcement on the last day of term just before Christmas that schools were going to be expected to do it. They were expected to do it from the first week of term, they had little help from the Government.

"The Government announced with some fanfare the army were going to be involved - which gave everyone the impression soldiers would be helping schools with the relief effort - in fact that was really a call centre function."

Wes Streeting calls for clear criteria on kids returning to schools

The shadow schools minister said this issue "all comes down to some of the fundamental failures of the Department of Education and Gavin Williamson."

"You have to have a clear plan to make this stuff work," Mr Streeting said, urging for a "robust plan" for the roll out of mass testing.

Mr Streeting continued that there must be also be clarity around the criteria for children returning to schools.

"No one wants to put efforts to tackle the infection rate at risk but at the same time we're also very conscious of the fact children who are currently learning from home, despite the best efforts of their carers and parents and teachers, it really is no substitute for being in the classroom.

"This is going to have a really lasting impact on a whole generation if we're not careful."

He told LBC that when he asked the Department for Education about the criteria for children returning, they admitted they had none.

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

The Princess of Wales says she edited the photograph that was released to mark Mother's Day.

The insistence that we see Kate is tantamount to stalking, writes Shelagh Fogarty

Caller tells Shelagh his solution to illegal immigration.

LBC caller tells Shelagh Fogarty that the Channel islands are the answer to 'illegal immigration'

'Rishi Sunak chooses to do the self interested party politics': Shelagh Fogarty reflects on Tories' immigration policies

'Rishi Sunak chooses to do the self-interested party politics': Shelagh Fogarty reflects on Tories' migration policies

Shelagh Fogarty

Former Treasury official outlines 'three immediate priorities' likely to be reflected in Autumn Statement

Shelagh Fogarty

Suella Braverman's hardline crime bill seems like she's ‘interviewing' for career at ‘pathetic’ news channels, says caller

Shelagh and caller Sam

Anti-Semitic chants and actions 'delegitimize' pro-Palestinian cause asserts this Shelagh Fogarty caller

Shelagh and Ricardo Dos Santos

'It's sickening': Ricardo Dos Santos speaks to Shelagh Fogarty as two officers sacked over stop and search


Rishi Sunak has 'failed monumentally' to 'humanise' both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict says Israel expert

Shelagh and Callum

Twitter is a 'particularly dangerous' place to get information now says the Centre for Countering Digital Hate

Shelagh and caller Simon

LBC caller details 'disgusting anti-Semitic' act he witnessed, as hate crimes rise in fall out of Israel-Hamas war

Sister of missing Israeli woman

'We hope she's hiding somewhere': Sister of missing Israeli festival goer fears she is being held hostage by Hamas

Distraught caller on Israel-Gaza conflict.

'This is a war against Hamas!': Distraught caller wants Israel and Palestine to take down the 'enemy' together

Shelagh and Alicia Kearns

Head of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee expresses concern over Israeli 'siege of Gaza'

Shelagh Fogarty caller on facial recognition.

This caller lacks 'trust' in the government's handling of the AI facial recognition debate

Shelagh condemns PM's comments on 'dignity' of the elderly.

'He painted a picture of a Britain that the Conservatives meant to build...': Shelagh Fogarty condemns PM's suggestion that elderly have 'dignity'

Shelagh Fogarty on Jenrick

'We're full aren't we?': Shelagh questions Robert Jenrick's motive behind encouraging Brits to increase birth rate