Boris Johnson seems comfortable with the Delta variant spreading in schools. Whatever they say, education clearly isn’t this government’s priority.

First published in June 2021.

It is like a PR spin doctor has been inserted into Public Health England (PHE) to contradict the reports its staff have worked hard on. This is preposterous.

They quote data from March and ignore the data released on Wednesday which was only up to 11 May. So, this is before face masks were removed in secondaries and wider restrictions were relaxed.

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England, Technical briefing 14.

While the Treasury baulks at the cost of lost learning, Boris Johnson seems comfortable with the Delta variant spreading in schools, which will result in more disruption. Whatever this government says, education clearly isn’t a priority.

PM Boris Johnson. | Number 10

When they removed masks in secondaries they must have known that the Delta variant was starting to spread in schools, yet they went ahead anyway. The implications go beyond the UK borders.

Boris Johnson took a big gamble that the Delta variant wouldn’t be as bad as early reports suggested. Unfortunately, this week’s releases were bad news. If the government’s strategy was to race the virus with vaccines, it could have bought more time for vaccination to get ahead.

It chose not to

Karam Bales, NEU National Executive. Chair of NP & YW National Council. Officer for Unify: Professional Unity.


[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 5 June 2021 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - visits St. Mary's Church of England Primary School in Stoke on Trent during lockdown in Covid-19. | 1 March 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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