UK schools reopening given boost as return in 22 EU countries has NOT been harmful to kids and staff, evidence suggests – The Sun

THE reopening of schools in 22 European countries has not been harmful to kids and teachers, evidence suggests.

The revelation piles pressure on unions resisting plans to send primary school pupils back to classes in the UK from June 1.

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Denmark, Norway and France are among countries who have already started getting more kids back to lessons.

Germany has also reopened schools for older children and plans to allow younger year groups back later in the summer term.


And an EU meeting was told that their gradual return had not resulted in "anything negative".

Speaking after the meeting, Blaženka Divjak, Croatia’s Education Minister, said: “What has been emphasised very strongly is that these schools [have] very highly guarded conditions.

"Like smaller groups than in normal classes, usually groups of around 15 and very close cooperation with health ministries and epidemiological services on a national level to provide schools and teachers and parents with very detailed recommendations on how to deal with the new situation."

The unions have been asking for evidence and this is it.

In the UK, education unions are locked in an ongoing row with Government over whether it's safe for kids to return next month – as Boris Johnson has outlined.

Alan Smithers, a professor in education at the University of Buckingham, said: "The unions have been asking for evidence, and this is it.

"So they should start cooperating fully with the Government so that our schools can open again as soon as possible."

Former prime minister Tony Blair has backed calls for pupils to go back to school, saying some children were receiving no education at all.


Schools could be told within days if they will be made to reopen their doors from June 1 – with reception, Year One and Year Six expected to return first.

Union bosses have ordered their members to not engage with plans, and have put in a string of demands that must be met first.

They have even claimed it is not safe for teachers to mark children's books during the pandemic – and are calling for a ban on marking altogether during the crisis.

Parents have been given a glimpse into how schools will operate when they reopen – including halving the size of classes, staggering start times, banning art work on the walls and reducing contact for primary school kids.

Sir Dan Moynihan, who heads up a foundation that runs 46 schools, told the Telegraph it would mean pupils still at home will not be "engaging with a teachers in the way they might have done previously".

But parents have been warned pupils who do not return to class may not receive online lessons from teachers due to a potential staff shortage.


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