New Scientist Default Image

Politicians can’t be afraid of U-turns if we want to keep schools open


These children have made a big sacrifice in our fight against the coronavirus. Many teachers have made heroic efforts to suddenly switch to remote learning, but there is no doubt that pupils’ education has been affected. The pandemic has also prevented progress in closing the gap in academic achievement between the most disadvantaged children in England and their peers. Those disadvantaged children are now more than 18 months behind by the time they are 16, on average.

Because of this, there is wide agreement that schools must reopen, and stay open. Achieving this is fraught with unknowns, however …