At tonight’s Crawley Borough Council Labour group meeting the following statement in support of Crawley schools, teachers, unions, parents and pupils was unanimously agreed.
Crawley Labour councillors are calling on the government to immediately implement a closure of on-site provision in all primary and secondary schools for all pupils in Crawley, except those that are vulnerable or the children of key workers, instead providing remote learning.
This is in response to the exponential growth of cases across Crawley, with PHE reporting today that cases have increased by over 100% in the last seven days, with a rate of 806 cases per 100k residents, higher than in many London boroughs.
We share the concerns of school leaders, teachers, unions, and parents in ensuring that pupils, their families, and their communities, are as safe as possible. It is clear from the data that despite everyone’s best efforts, schools remain a hotbed of transmission, and as such require a brief period of home learning for most pupils.
To ensure that no child is disadvantaged, we also call on the government to make good on their promise to provide devices and mobile internet connection to pupils in need.
School leaders must have the empowerment and flexibility to be able to respond to their local circumstances to work in the interests of their schools, pupils, and communities. This includes the discretion to not issue fines for non-attendance for the parents of pupils who wish to follow home learning to protect the health and safety of their families.
On the return to school, we believe that all school staff should be prioritised for vaccination to mitigate risks to staff health and further periods of closure.
Crawley Labour councillors will gladly continue to listen to the voices of school leaders, teachers, parents, and unions to ensure that schools allow children to thrive in a happy and healthy environment.
Crawley Labour Group on Crawley Borough Council