It is a worrying time with Covid 19 and the rise of the rate of infections and it is only a month away before the schools are getting ready to open. So imagine my surprise when I find myself in agreement with the teaching union and their leader Patrick Roach.

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers' union
Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union

The alarm bells are sounding because of this pandemic and there is the possibility that the R rate and infection will leap higher when schools start back. I am not sure I want the prospect of my 3 beautiful grandchildren being put at risk that way. As sadly if they do go back to school whilst the rate is climbing, their grandad and I will not be able to see them as I cannot risk his health.

It will also mean their beloved Great Grandmother won’t be able to see them and I think that is what she lives for to be honest. She is almost 80 and doesn’t have that time to just throw away. There is also the prospect of teachers becoming unwell and is that really fair on them? Never mind the children having to cope with these awful conditions.

My son-in-law is a janitor at a school so it is not just the teachers but also those unsung heroes who maintain the school full time too. They will put their families at risk and that goes full circle for us back to the children.

I am a Conservative voter, always have and always will be but even I must hold up my hands and say that their dealing with this pandemic has hit the skids in some areas, and they seem to be making it up as they go along. I know that nobody alive knows how to deal with it but surely if the R Rate and infections is doubling then the best thing to do is get planning for a full school lesson from home and ensuring that the children go online and log on for at 5 hours a day and do their work.

There are some fantastic teachers out there and if the Government asks them their input they could come up with some amazing ideas, after all look at the fantastic things they devised when we went into lockdown to begin with, and so little time to plan it.

I have always thought that teachers are one of our better assets in this country and even if the Government doesn’t really want to talk to the Union, then they need to talk to a delegation of teachers and see what it is they can offer as I know my own daughter will not send the children back if the infection rate is continuing to increase as she will not risk us or her beloved Grandmother.

The infection rate is rising and this is the current state of play….

Coronavirus cases in England are now at the highest levels since May and government scientists are ‘no longer confident’ the crucial R rate is below the dreaded level of one.  Government statisticians yesterday admitted there is ‘now enough evidence’ to prove Covid-19 infections are on the up, calculating that 4,200 people are now catching the virus each day in England alone. The estimate by the Office for National Statistics, which tracks the size of the outbreak by swabbing thousands of people, has doubled since the end of June and is 68 per cent up on the 2,500 figure given a fortnight ago.

One in 1,500 people currently have the coronavirus – 0.07 per cent of the population. But experts believe the rate is twice as high in London and still rising. The figure does not include care homes and hospitals.  Number 10’s scientific advisers also upped the R rate in the UK, saying they now believe it stands between 0.8 and 0.9. It had been as low as 0.7 since May. SAGE also revealed the growth rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – may have jumped to above one in the South West, home to the stay-cation hotspots of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. And they said it was likely to be equally high in the North West. Matt Hancock last night announced tough new lockdown measures in Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire. (daily mail)

Our children are the future of this country and we must not play fast and loose with them. I think in this instance I will put my trust into the union (I know that a lot of it is politically motivated to get back at Boris), but the part of me that trusts them understands that for families we must have absolute confidence in sending our most precious things out into the big wide world, and into what could be a Covid 19 breeding ground.

There are things they could do and that is no PE, no after school clubs and staggered lunchtimes but we know that our schools are at maximum capacity, and any way to segregate the children will not be enough. There could be the option of half the school for 2.5 days and the other half for the other….but children being children they won’t segregate….after all by the looks of yesterday’s pictures the adults cant do it…so why should we expect children to do it.

I ultimately have to accept my daughter’s decision as she is their mother, and I will always back her whatever she decides to do but if she states they are not going in because it doesn’t feel safe at the time….then she will hear no argument from me.

Maybe it is about time they invested in a far superior online form of schooling and make available laptops for those families who cannot afford one. That way the children and teachers are safe and to have a full educational day safe in the knowledge that we are beating the infection by isolating cannot be a bad thing surely!