Children being treated in 'inhumane' way due to Covid school rules, Miriam Cates claims

Children are being treated in an “unethical and frankly inhumane way” in some schools owing to directors of public health going beyond Government guidance on Covid measures, Yorkshire MP Miriam Cates has claimed.

The Conservative MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, who is a former teacher raised concerns about changes to guidance in Parliament this afternoon.

“Across the country many local directors of public health are going far beyond the department’s Covid guidance in their recommendations to schools," she said. "The recent reintroduction of masks in communal spaces has turbo charged this trend.

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“Headteachers, who are not public health professionals, are being put in an impossible position.

Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates.Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates.
Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates.

“We are now seeing the cancellation of important events, the isolation of and denial of education to healthy children, forced mask wearing lessons, punitive measures for forgetting to follow arbitrary rules, and children subject to dangerously cold classrooms.”

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The most important thing is we prioritise face-to-face education, keeping children in school is my absolute priority.”

He added: “Directors of public health can advise temporary additional measures, but they should always be proportionate. And schools, as long as they continue to be open, should be holding nativities and every other important function that they deliver.”

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