BMA backs teaching unions’ opposition to schools reopening

The British Medical Association has thrown its weight behind teaching unions opposing the government’s push to reopen schools in England, as the debate over millions of pupils returning to classrooms grew increasingly acrimonious.

The country’s children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, also weighed in, calling for ministers and teachers to “stop squabbling” and return to the classroom to help disadvantaged children. No 10 reinforced its drive to reopen primary schools for those in reception, year 1 and year 6 in two weeks’ time, warning that prolonged closures risked damaging children’s education.

But the BMA – the UK’s largest doctors’ union – said in a letter to the National Education Union on Friday that the number of coronavirus infections remained too high to allow them to run safely. Teaching unions had been “absolutely right” to urge caution and prioritise testing before reopening schools on 1 June.

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