The comments made by Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, on 31 August 2020.
For millions of families across England, this week will be a mixture of excitement and anxiety.
Excitement for children who will be back in the classroom for the first time in months. But, anxiety for teachers and parents about a year ahead that is full of uncertainty because of a pandemic that continues to cast its shadow over children’s education.
I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary dedication of our teachers and school staff who have worked tirelessly over the summer to make sure schools can reopen safely.
Labour want and expect children to be back at school. Every day that schools were closed was a day of opportunity, learning and support lost. This situation was worsened by the exams fiasco and the Government’s chaotic approach to education.
We cannot keep repeating those same mistakes. Young people’s futures cannot be held back by the Conservatives’ incompetence.
That is why the Education Secretary must come to Parliament to tell us how he will protect our children’s futures. He needs to explain how he will make up for the damage already done, bring pupils up to speed and mitigate against the ongoing risk from the pandemic.