Schools Out! Make it Happen.

Primary schools across England have been instructed to open their reception, year One and year Six classes on June 1st — the number of voices raised against this criminally insane plan is building among parents and teachers alike.

An recent poll by the NASUWT trade union of 30,000 teachers found 95 percent were opposed to schools in England returning from June 1st, while 91 percent have “no confidence in government measures to protect their health and safety or that of the children.”

One teacher asked how is it possible that mass gatherings are banned but it’s okay to stage a daily mass gathering, country wide?

The plan to send nursery and primary aged children as young as four back into schools is typical of the deranged delinquents of Johnson’s government, like Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab.

Apparently, some of these expensively educated idiots have never been in a state school corridor or canteen. Expecting a five or six-year-old to observe social distancing is a no-brainer. Needless to say, PPE is not even on the agenda for staff, let alone children.

Elite public schools, on the other hand, have no plans to open until September.  

One blogger aptly wrote: “I mean, if it was safe to reopen schools at the beginning of June, you’d think the recipients of the most expensive education in the United Kingdom would be desperate to get their noses back to the grindstone. Wouldn’t you? And their parents — many of whom are, I’m sure, inhabiting chairs in Boris Johnson’s cabinet — would be lining up to send them.”

This writer has already commented on the government’s plans to push working people back into the contamination zones of crowded factories and other workplaces. The targeting of the young children of these workers is down to this bigger plan of forcing worker parents themselves back into production to safeguard their bosses’ profits. 

The public transport nightmare, already dreadful in London, that must evolve from a return of anything approaching to normal for parents or children, doesn’t bear thinking about. The specious logic advanced by the pin-striped mafia is that a plateau in daily deaths is a hopeful sign! Yet, as of today the UK death toll from Covid-19 tips 37,000, the world’s second highest. And the number of Covid-19 cases is actually the highest, at around 260,000 in the area encompassing the EU/EEA and the UK.

Workers’ rights, protected by law, appear to have force only on paper in our hypocritical country.  Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows employees to stay away from unsafe workplaces: and this applies to all workers, including teachers.

The Department for Education’s chief scientific adviser, Osama Rahman, has admitted that the DfE has done no modelling on the impact on transmission rates of starting to reopen schools after the May half-term break (School’s Week). And the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, Mary Bousted commented: “Reopening schools is a question of logistics, not of risks.”

The question is, are children going to be subjected to what is sinisterly described in government, business and media circles as an “acceptable level of risk”? 

As for Labour, deputy leader Angela Rayner, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, couldn’t be more accommodating to Johnson’s plans, by describing Labour’s “constructive” and “cooperative” role in supporting the Johnson government. And in defiance of the above damning grassroots poll of teachers along with union NASUWT the management associations NAHT and ASCL have all announced their support for the staged resumption of classes on June 1st.

So, people who have hitherto thought of schools, the “authorities”, or the unions as protecting their children “in loco parentis” had better think again.

It is time for all workers threatened by the government plans, including teachers and other education staff to act independently of their collaborationist unions and form grassroots support networks. 

It is time for people to act in defence of their lives and the lives of their children. Do not send your child to school on June 1st, or any time thereafter until and unless their safety is guaranteed, and adequate safety measures are in operation, and which are independently corroborated. 

And I have to say regarding such demands, nothing would surprise me more. 

However difficult it is for households to cope with children out of school, the worst thing would be to trust the State to protect them. Just look at the record of the state in protecting health workers, care workers, bus drivers, rail workers, postal workers, warehouse workers (such as at ASOS), the elderly, care residents, the prison population and the socially marginalised in this present pandemic.

Direct action is the only viable response. To resist is to survive.

Patrick Carey