London South Bank chancellor: ‘We need to send kids back to school’

Josh Salisbury (24 August, 2020)

Sir Simon Hughes has called for parents to send their children to school next month, saying they are safe places to be

24038Sir Simon Hughes

A former MP has called for parents to send their kids back to school in Southwark in September.

Sir Simon Hughes, the chair of the board of governors at Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe, said evidence suggested that schools and colleges are safe places to be, and that the damage would be greater were children to remain off school.

Sir Simon, who is also chancellor of London South Bank University, said too many young people had already suffered a “huge loss of education for far too long.”

“Due to the terrible Covid 19 pandemic far too many young people have this year suffered a huge loss of education for far too long,” he said. 

“For all their sakes and all their futures young people now need to back in school and college, and we know that they will do better this year and in the future the sooner they can be with their peer group, teachers and tutors.

“The last thing that young people now need is any more party politics or unclear messages. The scientific advice is clear that schools and colleges will be safe places to be and the best places to be. 

“Now is the time for young people to have the best chance of the best education for the best future for all of them in all the years ahead.”

The former Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP said families with children at Bacon’s College, a secondary school, will be receiving a message in the coming days to make it clear students are expected back in classes for the new term.

He added that students within the London South Bank network of organisations were also expected to return to studies in September.

The call comes as senior politicians call for parents to send their children back to school for the new academic year.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has this week said: “It’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. 

“Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.”

Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, who has also called for schools to return, has warned that the re-opening of schools could be at risk because of mishandling. He has alleged the government to have been distracted from making classrooms safe by its handling of this year’s A-level results.

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