As part of the next stage of the National Education Union’s campaign to keep schools and communities in England safe, they launched a new website.

First published in October 2020.

The website presents accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the COVID-19 rate in the locality of every school in England.

Updated weekly, the data shows the number of COVID-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since the previous week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

In much of the country, the map can offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low. In others, it can reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government that cases are higher. In all situations, it encourages members of the public to follow all public health guidance.

In recent weeks, the Government has increased the amount of data available about local COVID-19 cases. Created by the National Education Union (NEU), the website makes the data easily available to parents and school staff.

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need,” explained Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU. “This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.”

Where cases are higher, the website can support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.

“This website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges. We have written to the Prime Minister calling for much quicker testing for staff and students, Nightingale sites for smaller classes, guaranteed home working for vulnerable staff, and more funding for already strained schools and colleges to maintain Covid-security.”

A brilliant initiative.🔷

Visit the website:

PMP News reporting.

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 4 October 2020.]

(Cover: Shutterstock/Zorro Stock Images.)

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