Liverpool’s Liberal Democrat Group are urging the Council to extend the half term break by a week to help reduce the rising virus rates in Liverpool schools which are then being transmitted into the wider community.
The Lib Dem’s Education spokesperson, Cllr Liz Makinson says, “At this week’s Children’s Services Committee we received some frightening statistics about infection rates in schools. There is only 1 school, unnamed, in the city that has not had any positive cases of Covid-19. 385 teachers have tested positive and 21,619 pupils have had to isolate. The chair shared the information that, nationally, 34% of cases nationally are linked to school transmission.
Pupils must not face any sanctions for being off school when they are unwell and the range of potential Covid-19 symptoms must be acknowledged. Schools must support teachers by abandoning existing absence management policies with immediate effect so that teachers likewise do not face sanctions for doing the right thing and staying off if they have symptoms.
As a City Region we need to safely come out of Tier 3 as soon as possible. In these circumstances it seems that an extra week off school would be a sensible precaution so that we can depress the climb in infections. One big shut down might be a lot easier for schools to manage than a continued succession of isolation of years, classes and bubbles. It will be easier for schools and parents to manage and plan for.
This enhanced break would give schools the opportunity to look at screening of pupil and teacher desks in order to lessen the risk of infection.
We need to make this decision quickly so that plans can be put in hand including the vital question for so many of our children about how they can get a decent lunch in these terrible times”.