NEU launches Covid-19 map for schools

The new website has been created to give school leaders the most up-to-date local data as the second wave continues

The National Education Union (NEU) has launched a Covid-19 map for schools. 

The map will offer “accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate in the locality of every school in England”, the union said. 

The resource will be updated weekly and show the trend in new infections over the past week. It will also include links to any local restrictions currently in force. 

“In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low,” the NEU said. “Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.” 

The NEU Covid-19 map has been made possible because the government has increased the amount of data available on local cases. 

We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part – Kevin Courtney, National Education Union

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The NEU School Covid Map presents up to date information on the Covid rate in every part of England. This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.”

Those areas in the UK currently worst affected by the second wave of coronavirus are almost uniquely centred around large conurbations in Merseyside, Lancashire, South Wales, West Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear, but weekly data suggests cases are beginning to fall in many of those areas. Cases are increasing fastest in in Ayrshire, Londonderry, Wrexham, Rutland and Darlington. 

The NEU has also accused the government of “sticking their fingers in their ears” over next year’s GCSE and A-level examinations.

The union said a system of national centre-assessed grades would be required because of the disruption to students’ education caused by high rates of coronavirus infections. 

The NEU is not the only sector organisation calling for reform; a new cross-sector organisation, which spans independent, state and higher education, is calling for the total abolition of GCSEs and A-levels in favour of broader curriculums and teacher-assessed results.

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