There’s strong pressure on teachers’ unions to reach agreement with the government on re-opening primary schools in England from next month.
The Daily Mail says the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has demanded, in an article inside the paper, that unions do their “duty” and stop their opposition to re-opening.
The paper itself says magnificent staff across the nation are desperate to help millions of children get back to the classroom, but militant unions are standing in their way.
In a message to the unions, the paper’s headline declares: “Let our teachers be heroes.”
In the view of the Times, the unions are doing what they always do – holding the government to ransom with children used as bargaining chips.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Dame Rachel de Souza, the chief executive of a group of academies, says children have already missed a term of vital learning, and while heroic efforts have been made to deliver remote studies, the internet is no replacement for the classroom.
We risk making an entire generation pay the price, she warns.
Writing in the i, Diana Young, a parent of two young children, says she and her husband work full-time and welcome the prospect of schools re-opening.
We are working harder and longer hours than pre-lockdown, she says, and that will eventually take its toll on the family’s mental well-being.
But the Guardian says a leading union has warned that teachers can legally refuse to return to work unless they get the same protections against coronavirus as other frontline staff.
The paper has seen a letter to local authorities by NASUWT, threatening legal action if teachers are forced to go back.
The Telegraph’s main story says new modelling suggests that fewer than 24 people are catching coronavirus each day in London, with forecasts predicting it could be wiped out in the capital within a fortnight.
According to the research by Public Health England and Cambridge University, at the peak of the contagion, on 23 March, when the lockdown began, 213,000 people a day caught the virus in London.
The figures show that London, at one point the worst-hit region in the UK, is now ahead in terms of recovery. The paper says this raises questions about whether the city’s strict lockdown measures will need to continue.
The Times reports that Boris Johnson is preparing a “much more interventionist” drive to tackle obesity as part of the fight against Covid-19 following his spell in hospital with the disease.
The paper points out that official figures show a quarter of coronavirus patients who’ve died in hospital in England had diabetes, and it says the prime minister believes the pandemic provides an opportunity to reinforce the message that people need to lead healthy lifestyles.
According to the Financial Times, Nissan is in talks with Renault to shift production of two of the French carmaker’s models from Spain to Sunderland.
It reports that the Japanese and French manufacturers are discussing the move as part of a global overhaul of operations to be announced this month.
The paper says the move would signal the Japanese carmaker’s long-term commitment to the UK’s largest car plant.
And finally, during the age of social distancing, it’s become part of lockdown etiquette to stay clear of fellow pedestrians on pavements by stepping into the road.
But police are warning people not to do this because, the Mail reports, it’s dangerous and the risk of passing on the virus by briefly crossing paths is low.
The paper says there have been a number of reports of clashes between pedestrians trying to walk past each other while observing the two-metre rule.
But a charity campaigning for wider pavements says it’s up to motorists to look out for people who may need to walk in the road.