Education Return and Awarding Qualifications in 2021 - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:44 pm on 1st March 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Blower Baroness Blower Labour 2:44 pm, 1st March 2021

My Lords, on Friday last, the Secretary of State for Health told the nation that one in five local authorities had seen an increase in Covid cases and that this was still a deadly virus. Is this then the right time to bring 10 million people back into daily circulation? There is a settled view from education staff and their unions that schools and colleges should be open to all as soon as is safely possible. However, from March 8, mitigation should be in place precisely to ensure safe reopening. The use of rotas and a staggered approach, as well as the use of additional spaces and staff to allow for the greatest chance of social distancing, would all decrease the risk of a surge in community transmission on the reopening of schools and colleges. Can the Minister offer any hope that the Government, even at this late stage, will consider these helpful suggestions for mitigation?