Aldershot MP Leo Docherty responds to parents’ and teachers’ concerns about the January return of Rushmoor primary schools
Leo Docherty MP said: "I am incredibly grateful to local parents and teachers for sharing their views and concerns these last few days about the return of primary schools in Rushmoor from tomorrow, Monday 4th January.
"In recent days I have been in communication with local council, NHS and public health officials to discuss these concerns. In making decisions about which schools should delay their reopening; Public Health England, our NHS, and departments across government have not only monitored rates of infection, but the number of new infections, rates of increase, rates of positivity, prevalence of the new variant, and pressures on local NHS services.
This is a balanced approach - rather than arbitrary threshold cut-offs.
"Rushmoor continues to experience a high rate of infection, and so it is more important than ever that we follow the rules of the current Tier 4 restrictions. However, balancing the evidence, the experts do not believe it is necessary to close local primary schools at this time.
"Throughout the pandemic we have been led by the science and public health advice, and this must continue. I think we all acknowledge how vitally important is it younger children remain in school for their education, well-being, and wider development. I also know, from visiting local schools and speaking to teachers and teaching staff myself, how tirelessly they have worked this year to keep our children safe - because they know education is a national priority.
"These measures will be reviewed again the week of 11th January. However, if you have specific concerns about your family, for example there is a clinically extremely vulnerable person in your household, please speak to your child’s Headteacher, as Hampshire County Council has provided additional guidance for such circumstances."
Credit: Leo Docherty MP pictured at a local primary school last year