More on Boris Johnson’s plea to parents to send their children back to school next month.
The general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, Paul Whiteman, has said fining parents for not sending children back to school would risk the relationships teachers have with families.
He told BBC Breakfast:
I think if the Government puts schools in a position where they have to enforce (fines) I think that damages the relationship between school and home at a point when you need it to be at its absolute strongest, so I don’t see that as the strongest way of encouraging children back into school.”
“I think with a proper engagement from government, real encouragement, and the messages about how safe it is and what to do around those areas of risk – if we acknowledge the risk, quantify it and mitigate it, I think there’d be enough confidence for parents to return their children.”
He added that accommodations needed to be made to ensure teachers felt safe returning to classrooms. “If we force people back into the situation where they’re unsure or they feel they’re in danger then their performance isn’t going to be what it needs to be in any event and so it’s about talking to those individuals,” he said.
England’s north-south divide could be worsened by the pandemic’s impact on the economy, with the most vulnerable sectors such as retail and manufacturing dominating the jobs market in certain regions.
More than 10% of the entire workforce in north-west England – about 351,000 people – are employed in retail, an analysis by Labour shows. In recent weeks the sector has been badly hit by cuts at major retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Boots and John Lewis.
In the east Midlands, 265,000 people (13%) are employed in manufacturing and the sector also accounts for between 10% and 12% of all jobs in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales, the north-east and north-west.
By contrast just 2.2% in London work in manufacturing, about 112,000 people, according to the figures from the Office for National Statistics’ business register and employment survey.
You can read more on this here:
Clubbers could could be made to wear face masks while dancefloor numbers could be restricted under suggested safety measures to allow clubs to reopen, according to the Night Time Industries Association.
The association said the night-time economy was one of the few remaining sectors without any clear path to reopening and has urged the Government to “save the sector from collapse” and thousands of jobs.
Last week, it said three out of five businesses could go bust by September, while a new report supported by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, looks at how clubs and other venues could reopen safely.
The report said there is a “strong argument” to permit clubs to reopen under strict controls “bearing in mind the behaviour we are witnessing in unregulated environments such as beaches, parks and raves”.
There are also “sector specific measures” which venues can put in place which would put them “at least on a par” with other businesses which are allowed to open.
These include adding temperature checks for guests when they enter, and restricting capacity to ensure distancing is possible throughout the venue.
“Use of face-coverings on the dancefloor can be implemented and enforced through existing security staff and protocols,” it added.
Johnson urges parents to send children back to school
Prime minister Boris Johnson has attempted to reassert his grip over education after days of chaos by making a personal plea to parents to send their children back to the classroom in September.
Johnson insisted the risk of contracting the virus in schools was “very small” and that pupils faced greater harm by continuing to stay at home.
Many pupils in England have not been to class since March, when schools were closed except to look after vulnerable children and those of key workers.
His decision to personally front the return-to-school drive rather than Gavin Williamson, the beleaguered education secretary who has faced calls to quit over the fiasco, is part of a deliberate attempt to switch the “messenger” and win back the public, a senior Tory suggested.
You can read the full report from our political correspondent Kate Proctor here:
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