Returning to primary school - statement from Leader and Deputy Leader
- Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of the Council
- Cllr Kaushika Amin, Deputy Leader of the Council & Cabinet Member for Children, Education & Families
Yesterday, the Government announced that primary schools in the majority of London boroughs will not physically open to pupils next week, other than for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers. To our great surprise, Haringey was not included on this list. Yet our infection rates are higher than many of those boroughs who are on the list, and the rate at which infections are rising is greater.
Our overall case rate in Haringey for COVID-19 is 784.7 new cases per 100,000 population per 7 days (19th to 25th December) and is higher than the London average of 751.7 and higher than Barnet (729.8). Case rates are continuing to rise at a greater rate than London (19% vs 16% in the last 7 days) and are high in all age groups. We are part of the same integrated care system as 2 boroughs where primaries have been told to stay closed (Barnet and Enfield) and the North Middlesex, a hospital under significant pressure, serves the populations of both Haringey and Enfield. The number of patients with COVID-19 in our local hospitals is higher than at the height of the first peak in Spring. The table at the bottom of this email provides the latest London comparative data to underline these points.
It is important to highlight, that no consultation was carried out with heads or any part of Haringey Council locally, and we have been given no insight into the criteria used by DfE to make their judgement. Furthermore, the DfE has declined to publish that criteria and lay it open to either review or scrutiny.
The education and support that our primary schools provide to children in Haringey is fundamental to their lives. But at the current time, when infection rates in parts of London with lower rates than Haringey are deemed by the Government too high to allow children and staff to return, it cannot be safe for children and teaching staff in Haringey to do so.
Consequently, we believe that all primary schools in Haringey should therefore open only to the children of key workers and vulnerable children next week and we will support all our schools in this approach.
This is in line with the guidance offered to the boroughs in bold in the table below.
We have written today to the Secretary of State informing him of this position.
|Lower Tier Local Authority||Weekly new COVID case rate per 100,000||7-day change in case rate|
|City of London||462.9||25%|
Please see below a downloadable version of this statement:
- Delayed return to schools for children (except keyworkers and vulnerable children) in 2021 (PDF, 188KB)
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