This week, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group’s Spokesperson for Children and Young People again urged the Regional Schools Commissioner to reconsider a circuit break for Medway School.
Cllr Clive Johnson, a former senior teacher, wrote a second letter to the South East Regional Schools Commissioner Claire Burton following his original plea for reconsideration at the end of last month. The letter was also sent to the Conservative-led Medway cabinet.
The letter follows a sustained increase in transmission rates across the area, with Medway now having the highest infection rates across the country. Last week Medway saw 601 positive cases per 100,000 – almost five times that of the national average.
On behalf of the Medway and Co-operative Group, Cllr Johnson expressed deep concerns about the high prevalence of community transmission putting pressure on an already struggling Medway Maritime Hospital, as well as the welfare of students. With all secondary and a third of primary schools in the area having experienced positive cases, many schools have experienced staff shortages.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group’s Spokesperson for Children and Young People said that, ‘Transmission rates within our area have continued to increase, and the relaxation of lockdown measures into tier 3 is only set to exacerbate this.
‘I wrote to the Regional Schools Commissioner two weeks ago to urge a reconsideration of the need for a circuit break within Medway’s schools. Since then cases have increased, and Medway now has the highest transmission rates in the country.
‘This is a public health matter, as SAGE has identified primary and secondary schools as two of the top three vectors for transmission of the virus, and we must do all we can to ease pressure on our local hospitals.
‘However, this is also about the welfare of our young people. Medway schools are a credit to our local community and have done an amazing job in delivering quality education amidst real adversity. However, their ability to sustain this is threatened as increasing numbers of pupil and teacher populations are forced to isolate.
‘I absolutely urge the Regional Schools Commissioner, and indeed the Conservative Council Leader, to urgently reassess the need to implement a circuit break in Medway Schools.’
Read Clive’s full letter below.