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Change.org Petition

Sign and share our petition against fining parents who decide not to send their children to school during the pandemic

Sign the petition

Join and Share our Parent Strike Event

Help spread the word that parents are standing united.

Join or share the event

Share Our Just Giving Page

Share our Just Giving page and donate if you can. Funds raised will be used to promote our cause.

BRTUS just giving page

Write to your MP to ask for support on fines

Send this letter to your MP to ask for their support on fines. You can use Write to Them to find your MP’s details and send the letter. 

Letter Template

Good morning <<Insert MP name>>

I hope this email finds you and your family safe and well.

I’m emailing you as a concerned constituent and as a member of the “Boycott Return To Unsafe Schools” campaign group – we are a grassroots, parent-led campaign fighting for a safe, sensible and sustainable return to school for everyone. We all want our children to return to school, but only when it’s proven to be safe.

We’re working really hard to fight against Johnson’s reckless and callous “plans” for the future of UK education and now we’re fighting even harder to oppose the unfair and punitive threat of parental sanctions and fines for those parents who deem schools to be unsafe come September. Undoubtedly, parental fines will disproportionately hit poorer families hardest.

Our movement over 5,000 members, consisting of parent/carers, grandparents and school staff.

We’ve had a myriad of both local and national press coverage (including The Mirror – https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/parents-refuse-send-kids-back-22117925)

We have statements of support from branches of UCU, NEU, GMB, The LRC, Unite, Unite Community, The TUC and Labour Party West Sussex CLP Exec. We’ve also garnered national support from Ian Hodson of BFAWU, DPAC and The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Here is a link to our, private, national campaign Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BoycottReturnToUnsafeSchools) so you can have a look at the kind of work we’ve been doing – including collating lists of school closures and creating interactive maps.

Here is a link to the interactive map (mentioned above) of education settings that have been affected by Covid-19 cases – over 90 since 1st June: https://www.boycottunsafeschools.co.uk/school-covid-cases?fbclid=IwAR0MKwVPjUzH_gDvOzzwRl0t7XevnLE2d-GEwP0HhuhSLdWPXXK7wAoyclA

Our movement is growing rapidly. Thousands of parents/carers and school staff are terrified about the prospect of enforced mass return to schools in September, not least because of the threat of fines for non-attendance.

We recently received a statement of support from York Central MP, Rachael Maskell. Whereby she explains “Parents mustn’t be fined for wanting to do the right thing for their child, but instead the local authority and schools should work with parents to ensure that the interests of the child are supported and provided for.”

Where do you stand on the issue of threatening parents with punitive fines? Will you follow Rachael’s lead and write a short statement in support of our campaign? Will you stand shoulder to shoulder with the 5000 worried parents/carers and teachers and oppose the government’s reckless plans and ruthless fines?

In hope and solidarity,

<<Insert name>>

<<Insert address>>

Submit a Freedom of Information request to Public Health England

Demand transparent, granular local data by writing to Public Health England at the following address: Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Rd, Bishop’s, London SE1 8UG

Or use not-for-profit website whatdotheyknow.com

Freedom of Information request Template

Dear Public Health England,

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I would like to propose the following be made available publicly available – for all areas – through Government Dash Boards, the Open Data Website, or an app such as that hosted by inyourarea.co.uk:

– Testing, positive case and deaths data available at the level of the first part of a postcode (such as SS6) presented as a daily figure, as opposed to cumulative

– Separate figures for the number of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 tests undertaken

– Separate figures given for the number of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 positive test results

– A graphical representation of the above data so that the trends in an area can be properly understood, with inclusion of historical Pillar 2 data when this is possible

– Hospitalisations and ICU data for both Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses down to Lower Tier Local Authority Level

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this request. I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request.

Yours Faithfully,

<<Insert Name>>

Write to your Local Councillor to ask for support regarding fines

If you wish you could use the not for profit website Write to Them to find and email your local Councillor, and don’t forget to add your personal detail, amend the letter if you wish.

Letter Template

Dear <<Insert name>>,

I hope this email finds you and your family well.

I am emailing you today regarding the recent announcement from Gavin Williamson MP proposing to fine parents/carers (up to as much as £120) for their child’s non-attendance at school come September.

Whilst we welcome the publication of the pillar 2 data, this does still leave some uncertainty about cases of infection and R rate in September – particularly due to the further “opening up” of <<enter town/city name>>, namely bars, restaurants and other hospitality industries.

Parents/carers, quite rightly, are concerned that the measures mentioned above, alongside the enforced return of school pupils, could lead to another deadly spike in infections.
Whilst we are all desperate for our children to return to school the safety of our children, families and the wider community is paramount.

Government plans to impose fines on parents/carers who do not send their children to school is punitive and will, undoubtedly disproportionately impact poorer families.

Michael Ferry, headteacher at St Wilfrid’s Catholic School in Crawley, publicly stated “If I fine parents £120, we’re effectively saying I’m taking away eight weeks’ worth of free school meal vouchers because that’s what it amounts to in stark terms.” He then went on to explain that he will “not be fining parents in any way, shape or form in September and I think it’s ludicrous to suggest it.”

Additionally, Headteacher of Parklands Primary School In Leeds, Chris Dyson stated: “It’s a ‘no’ from me. Fining is bullying them [children] to return because the Govt has failed to get the parents to know it’s safe.” Adding, “I will be reopening fully in Sept BUT there will be no fines until a vaccine is found. We are in the middle of a pandemic.”

Will <<Insert council name>> support Headteachers who also decide that they will not be imposing fines for non-attendance?

Regards

<<Insert name>>

Tell us why you support our campaign

Complete this form to tell us why you support our campaign.

We will use some of these statements to promote our cause.

Complete the Survey Form

Write to your Director of Public Health/Council Member for Education

Letter Template

Dear <<Director of Public Health/ Council Member for Education>>,

I write concerning the likelihood of a high number of Covid-19 cases this winter.

I agree entirely with Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health for Essex County Council that social distancing is a powerful tool in ensuring that the spread of disease is as small as possible. Indeed advice from the World Health Organisation to avoid:

1) Crowded places

2) Close-contact settings

3) Confined and enclosed spaces

will be all the more pertinent once the weather changes and people meet inside more often.

I am therefore perplexed and alarmed by the Government’s decision to make full return to our overcrowded public schools compulsory from September, with absolutely no social distancing, no PPE and bubbles of up to 250 pupils.

I am especially concerned given that the developing science indicates the former assertion of children not transmitting SARS-CoV-2 was grossly incorrect. In addition I am also concerned by the evidence now coming to light concerning aerosol transmission and the possible long term effects of Covid-19 infection, including in asymptomatic patients. I attach references with accompanying quotations in relation to this matter for your perusal.

Given the above evidence I would like to request your support in lobbying for a more sensible approach to reopening of schools by Essex County Council. I believe that the Traffic Lights system proposed by BRTUS: Parents United offers a sensible, safe and sustainable approach to reopening schools.

If schools were to provide blended learning when cases in a local area are between 1 and 50 cases per 100,000, following the Welsh model of no more than one third of children being on the school site at any one time, this would facilitate social distancing. In this manner children could receive a full time education alongside the spread of Covid-19 within schools being limited as much as possible.

As a parent I am keen for my children to recommence full-time education. However, I cannot countenance the risks posed by Central Government’s current approach to reopening schools, and I would be grateful for your support in lobbying for change.

Yours Sincerely,

<<Your Name>>

References

Talk to BRTUS Parent Cast

Would you like to be considered for an interview with BRTUS Parent Cast, and make your voice hear?

Then fill out our application form and we’ll be in touch.