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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Teacher unions play truant from the truth

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MONDAY was supposed to be back to school day for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils. Many children were undoubtedly excited – not only a chance to be taught in school again, but also the long-awaited moment to catch up with friends.

How sad it was, then, that within hours of the planned return, it was being reported that some children had been turned away. It seems that a proportion of our ailing schools simply cannot, or will not, cope – even with a few classes of no more than 15 children.

‘Chaos at school gates as some children are TURNED AWAY because teachers ‘aren’t ready for them’ and others haven’t opened at all’ … announced Mail Online

Parents who were expecting to return to work after dropping their child off at the school gate were in for a shock: ‘My son just went in to ask the teachers and they say it is not open as they are still making arrangements. I don’t understand. Now I have to go to work.’

Parents are at liberty, of course, to keep their children at home and it has been reported that around half have chosen to do so. Pressure on schools, therefore, could hardly be less. The big battalions of The Blob – the educational establishment –  however, are on the march. And, when it comes to battles with government, The Blob knows how to get its way. 

Parents have been prescribed, nay, overdosed, on Pandemic Panic Pills (PPP) by teacher-union leaders and some local councils. Legitimate concern over the under-supply of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) has been aggravated by an over-supply of PPP. 

The message being promoted is that only by keeping their children off school can parents ensure that their families are safe. Teacher-union bosses are promoting Covid-19 protection insurance on the same basis as Mafia bosses advise on the purchase of ‘fire insurance’. It is in everyone’s best interests and it protects life. 

There have to be consequences, of course, for those in positions of influence who do not agree. Non-compliant headteachers, for example, have been warned that they may be named and shamed.

The tentacles of The Blob stretch far and wide. I have pointed out in an earlier blog how the Hansard record of a House of Lords debate on my challenge to The Blob was suppressed and expunged from Wikipedia.

Now it is the turn of the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, the product of a grammar school. She has spoken up for underprivileged children, in particular, by supporting the reopening of schools. 

The Blob has used Wikipedia overtly to condemn her as being prepared to accept many deaths in order to see her views prevail. Spuriously using and abusing a BBC link, it makes the following statement about the Commissioner: ‘Longfield also believes that face-to-face education is more important than the health of a child’s family. Primarily, during the Covid-19 pandemic, she stated that delaying schools reopening would disadvantage children despite the likelihood that reopening schools would lead to the deaths of many of these children’s parents, careers and teachers.’

On Sunday last, I shared an LBC radio platform with a leading epidemiologist from the University of Oxford. He felt that the lockdown might possibly be ending too soon. But eventually he admitted that, statistically, children were more likely to be injured in a road accident on the way to school than harmed by the Covid-19 virus.  

‘Truth’ comes in many forms.  Wikipedia’s Blob ‘truth’ is the educational establishment’s version. Like the Covid-19 virus, it should carry a public health warning.

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Chris McGovern
Chris McGovernhttp://www.cre.org.uk
Chris McGovern is the Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education. A retired head teacher with 35 years’ teaching experience, Chris is a former advisor to the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street under two Prime Ministers.

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