OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from Peter Shreeve, Assistant District Secretary Isle of Wight – National Education Union. Ed
I write in response to “Isle of Wight schools to remain closed in light of Coronavirus lockdown” (22.4.20).
Everyone suddenly returning to school will almost certainly increase risks to all staff and the children in their care. This is why the National Education Union wrote to the Prime Minister on 14th April asking for the modelling, evidence and any plans that will form the basis of any decisions made by the Prime Minister and his Government to be shared.
There is an increasing ‘infodemic’ out there – an excess of information that makes it hard to know what’s trustworthy and what’s not.
After speaking to an unnamed senior Minister, the national press recently reported on the speculation of schools re-opening. This was unhelpful. Policy-wise, we need to ensure, that we have an evidence base and that we’re communicating accurately.
Maintaining trust is critical
Maintaining trust in public health authorities and politicians is critical to the ongoing management of the outbreak.
Any inaccurate information or confusion adds to concern and panic, which will be detrimental to outbreak control, societal cohesion and ultimately opening schools safely.
We must ensure we inform effectively and counter rumour or misinformation, thereby keeping anxiety to a minimum.
We can achieve this better by having the firmest possible answers to all points raised in the aforementioned letter to Boris Johnson, as well as to any future questions.