The Government wants schools to start reopening from June 1 as efforts from Boris Johnson to gradually ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England continue. Under the proposals, class sizes will be limited to 15 with a staggered timetable to try and prevent any further transmission of the deadly disease. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has held frequent meetings with leaders across the sectors in a desperate attempt to ramp up support among teachers. But relations are at risk of completely collapsing, with unions claiming they were not consulted on the re-opening date or which year groups would be returning first.
The National Education Union (NEU), which represents 450,000 teachers and other school staff, and the public service union Unison, which representing school support staff, have told their members not to begin any planning for a return to the classroom on June 1.
Now former Labour spin doctor Mr Campbell, who was credited with much of the party’s dominance of 10 Downing Street under Tony Blair’s premiership, has attempted to launch an attack on the Government.
He tweeted: “Can anyone name a member of the Cabinet whose children are educated in a State school?”
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove simply replied “Yes”, without elaborating any further.
But the quick-witted response from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster received huge praise from many of his 180,000 followers on Twitter.
One said: “Love this Mr Gove. Good for you!”
Another follower tweeted: “Gove is brutal with his replies.”
A third person wrote: “Michael Gove, I salute you Sir!”
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The brutal slap down from Mr Cove comes 24 hours after he insisted it is safe for schools to reopen on June 1.
He said measures were being put in place to ensure the safety of children and teachers as they returned.
Mr Gove told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: “We want to proceed in a balanced way to ensure the children have the opportunity to be back in school, to benefit from learning and, as a result, to ensure that their future can be more secure.
“Other countries have succeeded in ensuring children can return to school safely. The nature of what happens in the classroom has changed.
“Instead of children working around the table they are sitting at desks separate from each other and, as a result, they are able to learn, they are able to benefit from being in school.