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    • Test 1: Much lower number of coronavirus cases compared to now as well as a “sustained downward trend”

      Test 2: A National Plan for Social Distancing

      Test 3: Massive Testing

      Test 4: A Whole School Strategy to test the entire school if a case occurs

      Test 5: Protections for vulnerable parents and other caregivers


      The plan is included in a petition that “is supported by 66,000 parents, more than 150,000 teachers, almost 10,000 heads, and nearly 50,000 support staff. Over 7,000 doctors and health workers have signed it.” (NEU)

      So why all the focus on the plan? Because the U.K. government, and everyone else, is now having discussions of when schools should open.

      The Daily Telegraph editorial claims that teachers will use the Pandemic as an excuse to extort more money out of the government by striking.

      Although the editorial is behind a paywall, @CygnusX1 was kind enough to share the relevant bits via an audience question submitted to the Zoom Fatigue panel discussion.

      The NEU is effectively on a go-slow. It doesn’t want its members to teach in school nor out of school. Whatever game it is playing, it doesn’t have children at heart. (Teachers are playing politics with our children's lives)

      According to the NEU (UK Teacher’s Union), “this week Parentkind, a leading organisation representing parents, has endorsed the NEU’s 5 Tests for Government.”

      If the Union is against teaching out of school, why is that?

      Is it out of concern for “Zoom fatigue” of teachers?

      Or, as @CygnusX1 asks,

      Is this because teachers are worried that parents might be able to judge their teaching standards for the first time?

      Ofsted inspections have continued during the Pandemic, so it’s not as if there has been no monitoring, review and measurement of teaching to established standards.

      Well, actually, the inspections were suspended in March. Per The Independent, this was in part due to pressure from school leaders and groups such as the NEU (National Education Union).

    • I’m a teacher and it’s troubling to think of going back to school. Kids have very poor personal hygiene, like to be defiant, are often very self centred and like to be the one who goes against the rules. They are always touching everyone and everything, they cough and sneeze in the open or on their hands, they sniffle and dislike blowing their nose. It’s going to be a disaster.

    • I can sympathise. As a teacher, perhaps you could comment on something that has been hotly debated amongst parents in the UK.

      It seems as if the major teaching union, the NEU, is trying to restrict teachers from teaching more than a few lessons by video. Certainly, in my daughter's school this is the case, with only one lesson per day delivered this way and some subjects not being taught at all. And this is a private school.

      The suspicion is that the NEU does not want its' members teaching method or style to be subject to parental scrutiny, as might be possible via video lessons. It is a hypothesis that is easy to believe since if one lesson can be taught online, surely they all can.

      This is not a stab at individual teachers, some of which I know from personal experience to be amongst the most dedicated and standards-driven individuals. It is directed at the NEU, who may be trying to protect the few bad apples that will always be present.

      Your view from the inside would help me to see the issue from all angles. Thanks.

    • Here’s an interesting take on why primary (elementary) schools in the U.K. and the US are opening first.

      I was wondering why they weren’t starting with reopening high schools first since getting kindergarteners to socially isolate seems a quixotic task, but now it starts to make sense in a ghastly abhorrent sort of way.

    • Not really sure what this shows, to be honest. The government has direct responsibility over state schools, and only indirect oversight on private schools. As such, I am not surprised that they are only urging state schools to return to the classroom.

      Besides, it is not the schools that are the problem here necessarily - it is the teaching unions that are urging member not to teach face to face or over video link. In vilifying unions, the government is attacking the source of the problem, I think.