‘Impending doom’: teachers on the reopening of schools in England

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Earlier this week the prime minister announced a “big bang” return to school for all children in England on 8 March, despite teaching unions’ calls for a phased reopening.

Amid warnings from scientists that the move could lead to a new rise in Covid-19 infections, four teachers spoke about their concerns for their pupils and colleagues.

‘It’s like a sense of impending doom’

Jack Marsh, 34, a teacher at John Stainer community primary school in Brockley, south London, said he feared that reopening schools was being rushed, and could lead to a further lockdown.

“Teachers should have the option to be vaccinated before they return,” he said. “Otherwise, I don’t think schools can be safely reopened. Social distancing is so difficult to enforce in a primary school. Are we going to see the same happen when schools reopened last term – a spike in cases and classes being shut down because we’ve jumped the gun too soon?”

Marsh, who has been teaching key workers’ children in person, said the prospect of schools fully reopening was exacerbating the anxiety he already felt due to the stress of teaching during the pandemic.

“It’s like a sense of impending doom,” he added…

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