Like millions of parents, Lisa just wants to keep her children safe. Here she asks Gavin Williamson and the Department for Education questions they should feel compelled to answer.

First published in August 2021.

I made a little video the other day and it seemed to have had quite a far-reaching effect. So, I am making another one today. Just in the hope it reaches Gavin Williamson, who is the Secretary for Education in the UK.

I’ve just got a few questions regarding the back to school policy introduced by the government.

Lisa Diaz.

The first one is that under 18s no longer have to isolate if somebody in their household tests positive for Covid-19 – which essentially mean that my son or daughter could be sat next to a child whose mum, sibling, dad, whatever, are off sick with Covid-19. It’s advised that they get a PCR test but it’s not mandatory.

So, could somebody explain the rationale behind that decision, please?

Likewise, if somebody is double-vaccinated they don’t have to isolate anymore. So, the teacher who is teaching them could have the family member at home
who would have got Covid-19 – but they can still come in and teach. And it’s known that people who are vaccinated still can transmit the virus and
catch the virus.

So, again, what’s the logic being that?

On top of the fact that there’s going to be no masks, no adequate ventilation, no HEPA air filters, and no social distancing, the only conclusion I can reach is that you want to spread it about in the schools and let it rip.

You’ve said that we’re going to start rolling out CO2 monitors from September but, to be honest, that just feels like you’re trying to appease us, to look like you’re doing something.

Although it’s welcomed, it’s nowhere near enough. It’s nowhere near enough to stop the spread of this Delta variant in our schools.

I’ve just got a couple more questions for Gavin Williamson, please, if you could answer these. Gavin, they are really important. And also one for Boris Johnson.

The first one is regarding the latest advice that you’ve given to school leaders to only get in touch and reach out for help when 10% of the population of the school – be it staff, students, whatever... – are infected with Covid-19, “before then don’t come for help.”

If you could provide the scientific evidence and the modelling behind this 10% number.

Obviously, it’s really important because the children we’re talking about here will end up spreading it too. So, where does this 10% come from, please? Because otherwise people might just think it’s an arbitrary figure, and we wouldn’t want that.

And then my other question: I saw in TES that assemblies have been encouraged again.

Can you explain why, in a pandemic, it is a good idea to shove a couple of hundred kids in a hall altogether with no mask, no social distancing, and inadequate ventilation?

Why do you think it is a good idea?

Boris Johnson. | Number 10

My last question is for the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and it’s in regard your old school, Mr Johnson.

I’m just wondering whether the kids in Eaton will be all packed 30-odd into a classroom without any masks and social distancing. Will they all be shoulder-to-shoulder without any adequate ventilation or is it just the plebs kids like mine that are going to be used in this hybrid community experiment?

So, if you could answer those questions I’d be really, really grateful. 

Watch Lisa’s videos now:


Lisa Diaz, Co-founder of SafeEdForAll, a parent-led advocacy group following the science, campaigning for a Safe Education For All.


Going Further:

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 21 August 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Gavin Williamson. | 24 February 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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