Before we move to the presentation of public petitions, I remind the House of the established practice when presenting a petition in the Chamber. When called to present a petition, Members may make a statement, not a speech, about who the petition is from, and how many signatures it has. Members should summarise the content of the petition, and then read the request or prayer contained at its end. If Members make speeches about the subject matter of the petition, they will be called to order by the Chair.
Return of children to schools in September
I rise to present a petition on behalf of parents in my constituency and across the country who support the September for Schools campaign. They and headteachers alike demand clarity on how schools can return safely in September, especially in view of the Prime Minister’s commitment to fully reopening schools. At the moment, there is no plan with the requisite resources attached. Headteachers need that plan to prepare, and parents need it to gain confidence to send their children back.
The petition reads as follows:
The Petition of residents of the United Kingdom,
Declares that children must be at the heart of government strategy as lockdown eases; notes that research has shown that home-schooling has been inconsistent across the country during lockdown, with disadvantaged children faring particularly poorly; and further declares that the best place for students is in the classroom, as schools provide consistency, social interaction, stimulating learning environments and promote good health and wellbeing.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to work together with head teachers, parent bodies, unions and local authorities to devise a plan by 13 July to safely resume education in September so that all children can return to school.
And the petitioners remain, etc.