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Lib Dem campaigners call on the Government to act urgently to help prevent Omicron variant spread in schools and colleges

January 9, 2022 6:33 PM

Liberal Democrat campaigners in Hinckley and Bosworth have signed an open letter to the Education Secretary, calling on him urgently to ramp up measures to help prevent the spread of the Omicron viariant in schools and colleges.

Hinckley County and Borough Councillor Michael Mullaney and Barwell Parish Councillor Mathew Hulbert have added their names to the letter, orgnised by the National Education Union (NEU) and signed by many Councillors and School Governors up and down the country, strongly urging Tory Minister Nadhim Zahawi to act.

Both Councillors are members of the NEU's national Councillor Network.

The letter begins, 'Dear Secretary of State, We are writing to you at the start of the school term to raise significant concerns about the disruption that the Omicron variant is causing for children (and young people) in our schools and colleges. Current Government support and guidance is insufficient to prevent widespread disruption.

'Much more needs to be done to ensure that schools can remain open and safe for both pupils and staff. We must equip parents, children, leaders, teachers and support staff with everything they need to protect face-to-face education in their school or college community as Omicron sweeps through the country.

It goes on to calll on the Government to ensure there's an air filtration device, which creates 'learning environments which are more Covid secure' for every classroom and to make clearer the current guidance on mask wearing in classrooms.

It closes by saying 'We look forward to hearing from you and working together to keep our children, parents, carers, teachers and support staff safe.'

Councillor Mullaney says, "Many people locally have recently developed Covid. It's clear that one of the places which is most greatly contributing to the spread of the Omicron variant are schools and colleges.

"I have signed this letter from the National Education Union calling on the Government to take more action to prevent its spread.

"I hope the government will listen to the concerns of local parents, pupils, teachers and support staff and act urgently."

Councillor Hulbert, who is a former school governor and is on the executive of the national Lib Dem Education Association, says "As with many of the aspects in response to this pandemic, this Tory administration has been far too slow to act to help prevent the spread of the Omicron variant in education settings.

"I hope that Ministers will now, albeit belatedly, act with a sense of urgency to put in place the measures and necessary funding to ensure our children and young people, parents, teachers, support staff and whole school communities are kept as safe as possible during what remains of this pandemic."