Councillor Pat Rooney
Councillor Pat Rooney

South Glos Labour Group Leader Pat Rooney said:

“Because of the negative impact on our children’s education, particularly for those who are most deprived, we don’t want to see schools in South Glos closed and we recognise that most schools have remained open for vulnerable and keyworker children throughout the course of this pandemic.

Unfortunately with the new variant Coronavirus causing an increase in cases, and the pressure on our NHS, the advice of many scientific experts is now calling for a national lockdown in order to save lives. We welcome Keir Starmer’s call for an immediate national lockdown. If the Government now follows this advice another national lockdown will be called. If this is actioned in a timely manner it would seem obvious that schools will need to close.

Of course this didn’t have to happen if only the government had used the time since the pandemic began to put in an adequate system for mass testing in schools, as well as ensuring all schools had the right equipment for all children to be taught online when schools are closed.”

Cllr. Rooney continued:

“Schools need proper support to ensure that they are Covid secure workplaces. And if schools are closed, the government should also put in support for parents unable to work because of childcare problems.

Yet again the government’s mishandling of the pandemic and specifically the return of schools has created unnecessary stress for parents, children, and school staff.”

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