Tag Archives: school reopening

7-9 August 2020 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Blocking pupil grade appeals could deny opportunities “for years to come”
  • Government should encourage universities to “exercise leniency” for 2020 admissions
  • Lack of test and trace leaving local authorities blind-folded with regional lockdowns
  • Government must provide practical and financial support ahead of schools opening fully

Blocking pupil grade appeals could deny opportunities “for years to come”

Responding to news that schools, but not individual pupils, will be able to challenge the GCSE and A Level grades awarded, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

This completely fails to get to grips with the issue. If individual pupils are not able to challenge grades which are an unfair reflection of their ability, it could seriously impact their education and employment opportunities for years to come.

It is absolutely unacceptable for any student to be unfairly penalised because of their family’s income or any other factor.

The Secretary of State needs to urgently put in place resources to ensure every child has the chance to appeal their grades and resit assessments when it is safe to do so.

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2 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt making “dog’s dinner” of Brexit negotiations
  • Govt must move faster to improve NHS Test & Trace system
  • Govt woefully underprepared to ensure every young person can return to school

Govt making “dog’s dinner” of Brexit negotiations

Responding to news that the UK Chief Negotiator David Frost has stated that “significant differences” remain as the latest restricted round of talks concludes a day early, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs and Brexit spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

Last month Boris Johnson asserted that he wanted a Brexit deal by the end of July.

But far from putting a tiger in the tank, David Frost appears to be making a

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2 July 2020 – the overnight press release

Guidance for schools raises more questions than they answer

Responding to reports the Government’s guidance for schools reopening will include an overhaul of the curriculum, impose strict behaviour regimes and include a continuation of remote learning, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

A raft of guidance is again released, but it is meaningless unless it is accompanied by robust scientific evidence to reassure the public that these plans won’t result in an increased risk of Covid-19 spreading.

The practicality of the plans also raise concerns. Dropping entire subjects and a continuation of remote learning without much needed equipment is far

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25 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems “delighted” by move to increase protection for abuse survivors in family courts
  • Cross-party group urge Govt to agree to increased aid scrutiny in wake of DfID axe
  • Lib Dems: Jenrick must resign or be sacked
  • Irresponsible for Govt to change social distancing at schools
  • Govt must guarantee NHS Test & Trace fully functional before lockdown eases

Lib Dems “delighted” by move to increase protection for abuse survivors in family courts

The Government has confirmed it will strengthen protections in courts for survivors of domestic abuse through an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill, following calls from campaigning organisations and the Liberal Democrats.

During Committee Stage of the Bill, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine tabled an amendment calling for the introduction of ‘special measures’ in family courts during Committee Stage of the Bill.

The Government has today announced that it will bring in these changes in their own version of the amendment.

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24 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems move to scrap Section 60 Stop and Search
  • Evidence for reopening schools must be published amidst fears of Covid-19 spike
  • Nominations for Lib Dem leader open
  • Lib Dems back health leaders’ push for review into lockdown easing
  • Bank of America criticism of pound performance shows need to extend transition period

Lib Dems move to scrap Section 60 Stop and Search

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to back a new Bill to scrap suspicion-less stop and search in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, which have exposed ingrained institutional racism and discrimination in the UK.

Given the disproportionate impact of current Stop and Search laws on black people in particular, and BAME communities more widely, the Liberal Democrats will today (Wednesday 24 June) introduce a Bill to outlaw suspicion-less Stop and Search, highlighting that the current law “undermines” community trust in police.

The Party is demanding the Government back their proposal. If passed, the law would prohibit Section 60, suspicion-less stop and search, which currently leaves a black person almost 50 times more likely to be stopped than a white person. The party is further calling for a Race Equality Strategy and an end to the Hostile Environment.

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19 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Cross-party group urge Govt to “right the wrong” done to Chagos Islanders and respect the ICJ
  • Debt response must be green recovery plan
  • Govt must do more to tackle disproportionate BAME Covid-19 deaths
  • Sir Simon McDonald’s premature departure raises serious questions
  • Challenge is for Govt, not teachers

Cross-party group urge Govt to “right the wrong” done to Chagos Islanders and respect the ICJ

The Liberal Democrats are leading cross-party calls for the Government to adhere to United Nations’ calls for the Chagos islands to be returned to Mauritian control and come good on the promise of a £40m package of support for the Chagossian community.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael, who has secured the support of 29 other MPs from across the political spectrum, criticised the Government’s “arrogant” rejection of the International Court of Justice’s ruling on Chagos and warned it is jeopardising the UK’s credibility on a world stage.

The intervention comes after the UK Government issued a response to the UN Secretary General’s report on implementing Resolution 73/295 – which advised it to end the unlawful occupation of the islands – earlier this week.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the cross-party group quote the Prime Minister of Mauritius who highlighted the connections between the Chagossian struggle and the Black Lives Matter movement by warning “the occupation of the Chagos Archipelago inscribes itself in these historic wrongs.”

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

I’m saddened but not surprised at the Government’s decision to reject the International Court of Justice’s ruling on the illegal British occupation of the Chagos archipelago.

The ICJ has very clearly instructed the UK to return the island chain to Mauritian control. The Government’s refusal to do so is arrogant and jeopardises our credibility on a world stage.

The Government must abide by the ICJ’s ruling and ensure the £40m package of support promised to the Chagossian community is paid out in full.

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15 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Conservatives are gambling with our future
  • Davey: Johnson’s trade tactics will hurt economy
  • Wrongheaded to reject spare spaces for schools, Lib Dems warn
  • Lib Dems call on PM “not to turn your back” on child refugees
  • Govt deliberately moving away from expert advice
  • Lib Dems celebrate victory in the Lords

Conservatives are gambling with our future

Responding to the new Boris Johnson has set a deadline of July to secure a deal with the European Union, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said:

The PM is trying posture his way out of the corner that he’s backed himself into. He wants to stage manage the situation so that he can blame the EU if talks fail.

A negotiation is a two way process. We cannot expect to lay down all our red lines and never budge, as Theresa May learnt the hard way. By refusing to genuinely negotiate the Conservatives are gambling with our future.

The PM needs to ditch this reckless deadline and commit to trying to secure a deal that enables Welsh farmers and businesses to continue to have tariff-free access to our vital European markets.

Davey: Johnson’s trade tactics will hurt economy

Responding to reports that the PM has said there needs to be a deal done with the EU by the end of July, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Boris Johnson’s arrogant assertion that he wants a Brexit deal rushed through in a few weeks shows he still doesn’t care about the impact a bad deal could have on people’s lives.

At a time when the UK is facing the deepest recession for 300 years, it is unthinkable that the government would rush through a half-heated deal, or worse get no deal at all.

A rushed, bad Brexit deal would hit our NHS, jobs, and the economy. It would impact the most vulnerable the hardest, making life more difficult for those already struggling to make ends meet.

Johnson should stop with the bravado. Liberal Democrats will continue to call on the government to extend the transition period and commit to ensuring we agree a Brexit deal that leaves no one behind.

Wrongheaded to reject spare spaces for schools, Lib Dems warn

Responding to the Government’s new guidance for schools, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

The real test of this guidance is whether it will build the confidence needed for parents, teachers and pupils to go back to school without fear of putting their health at risk.

For schools that don’t have the capacity to have more pupils return within existing guidelines, the Government must do more. That includes providing laptops and internet access to all disadvantaged children in need.

It is also wrongheaded to reject Liberal Democrat proposals to use suitable empty buildings in the community as learning spaces. Ministers should think again.

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3 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Lib Dems welcome plans for phased school re-opening
  • China is being wilfully ignorant with Hong Kong response
  • Govt not clear on legal powers to implement local lockdowns
  • Govt must not risk going backwards on containing COVID-19
  • MPs need to urgently restore the virtual Parliament

Welsh Lib Dems welcome plans for phased school re-opening

Commenting on Kirsty Williams’s announcement of a phased return to school from the end of the month, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

Once again Kirsty Williams is setting the bar with regards to how a Government should be communicating at times like this.

She has clearly laid out her plans, and the rationale behind them, in an upfront manner. This will give parents, children and teaching staff the reassurance they need.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are committed to getting our children back in the classroom and learning as soon, but only when it is safe to do so.

I am therefore pleased to see that no child is forced to go back, especially those who are shielding themselves or who have family that are shielding.

China is being wilfully ignorant with Hong Kong response

Responding to reports that China has warned the UK to “step back from the brink” over UK criticism of Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

China’s Foreign Ministry are being wilfully ignorant. The Sino-British Joint Declaration was not a unilateral announcement but a clear joint legal text, lodged at the UN. The clue is in the name.

Both the UK and China made promises to the people of Hong Kong during the Handover. Under the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ way of life was to be protected and enhanced.

Beijing has shown increasing contempt for the Joint Declaration and it is clear that the government must now ensure all Hong Kongers are given the right to live in the UK. Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the UK Government to expand the BNO offer they have outlined.

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28 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration
  • Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening
  • Davey: Either PM and Ministers lied or have no understanding of lockdown rules
  • Govt must now give all Hong Kongers BNO Passport
  • Lib Dems: PM reaches new low in attempt to keep Cummings

Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration

Responding to reports that China’s legislature has approved a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in the territory, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This vote demonstrates Beijing’s contempt for the Joint Declaration. It is an unforgivable move that threatens the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

The UK Government must take immediate action. We have a legal and moral duty.

It is time to urgently reopen the BNO Passport offer and extend it to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the UK.

Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening

Responding to the Independent Sage Group report suggesting that reopening schools risks pushing the COVID-19 ‘R’ rate above one, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We all want to see children back in schools as an urgent priority. But not if this risks a new COVID-19 spike. The Government must guarantee that public health will not be put at risk as a result of a premature or rushed effort to get children back into classrooms.

Boris Johnson’s Government has repeatedly claimed to be guided by science. Ministers must now look closely at this Independent report to ascertain why those involved have reached a dramatically different conclusion about the risk of reopening schools next week.

The Government is asking a lot of parents and teachers during this crisis, and parents and teachers deserve clear, honest answers in return. Ministers must provide real clarity around the reasons for their decision in order to ensure that parents and teachers alike can have confidence in their plans.

Any easing of the lockdown – including reopening schools – can only happen once the Government delivers a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate to prevent a new surge.

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22 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must leave no one behind in the fight against coronavirus
  • Record low in retail sales demand reform
  • Self-employed must not be left behind
  • Education Sec has failed to listen to teachers and parents through this crisis – Moran
  • If he’s broken the guidelines, Cummings will have to go – Davey

Govt must leave no one behind in the fight against coronavirus

Responding to ONS statistics which show the highest monthly borrowing on record, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

These figures show the devastating impact this crisis is having on our economy. People and businesses across the country are facing financial hardship, and

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 3)

  • Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open
  • Securing the Midlands Manufacturing Prowess – in spite of devastating news of 9000 job cuts at Rolls-Royce
  • Hong Kong power-grab by Beijing condemned
  • Migrant NHS & social care workers must be given must be given right to remain

Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open

Responding to reports that the scientific advice on the safety of reopening schools will be published tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Parents, children and teaching staff are worried about the threat of coronavirus and need reassurances ahead of reopening schools.

Liberal Democrats have demanded from the outset that

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