The Daily Mail has provoked outrage this morning after it went to war with the unions in a bid to get teachers back to work.
The right wing rag took aim at workers associations for standing in the way of schoolteachers becoming the next wave of ‘heroes’ of the Covid crisis.
An alliance of school teachers’ unions has warned that it is “not safe” to open schools following comments from the Department for Education’s chief scientific adviser.
Osama Rahman told MPs there was only “low confidence” in evidence suggesting that children transmit Covid-19 any less than adults.
MP Carol Monaghan said that as a former teacher the profession is “not going to be satisfied by what they are hearing at the moment”, while Patrick Roach, leader of the Nasuwt teachers’ union, said the DFE adviser’s comments were “truly shocking and disturbing”.
There was widespread condemnation of the Mail’s front page this morning.
Lisa Nandy tweeted: “We had a message this week from our school that said “we miss you, and we are always here for you”. They’ve been incredible.
“The Daily Mail should be ashamed of this. Our children and their teachers will not be divided.”
While Angela Rayner said: “Teachers are already heroes, nobody needs the Daily Mail peddling their divisive anti trade union rhetoric at such a sensitive time, it’s not “militant” to demand safety measures are in place for children&staff alike, it’s not “militant” to protect all children&staff in school.”
Shelly Asquith pointed out that 92 per cent of the National Education Union say they don’t feel safe and should therefore not be forced to go back to work.
This is a lie. There is no “row between teachers and unions”: 92% of @NEUnion members say they don’t feel safe.— Shelly Asquith (@ShellyAsquith) May 14, 2020
The unions *are* the teachers. By refusing to put themselves at risk they are acting in all our interests – and for that, they are heroes. pic.twitter.com/QqfJIdVhUe
Elsewhere, testing, vaccines and a return to school feature prominently on Friday’s papers.
Metro and the i lead on the new test showing whether someone has already had the the coronavirus.
And the Daily Express says scientists hope to have a vaccine before the summer.
The Times leads on Boris Johnson’s move to target obesity as he accepts it increases the risks associated with Covid-19.
The Daily Mirror says more than 19 million Britons may already have had the coronavirus and recovered.
The Daily Telegraph strikes an upbeat tone, reporting there are just 24 new cases of coronavirus per day in London.
The Guardian reports on what it says was a chaotic situation regarding a warehouse stockpile of personal protective equipment.
The Sun says several footballers are investing in guard dogs after England man Dele Alli had a range of high-end watches stolen by “knife raiders”.
The Financial Times reports Nissan has boosted the job prospects of workers in Sunderland with new production plans.
And the Daily Star leads with a Strictly Come Dancing story.