SATS - Cllr Laura Smith, Crewe South, Labour (1)

A Cheshire East councillor has said it is “completely unfair” year six SATS are going ahead next year and asked whether the council plans to challenge it, writes Belinda Ryan.

Cllr Laura Smith (Crewe South, Lab) told a meeting of the children and families committee she had an interest because she has a child in year six.

But she said there was a lot of disruption still in schools and some children were now also suffering from Long Covid.

“I was wondering if the council could look at making an appeal about year six SATs,” Cllr Smith asked.

“I’m really concerned that they’re back in next year, with the amount of children who are still having regular time off from school.

“I still think it’s completely unfair – and I will say I have an interest because my son is in year six.”

The Labour councillor – a former Labour MP for Crewe and Nantwich – also wanted to know what the council was doing to look at the impact of Long Covid in children.

And she raised concerns about anti-vaccination campaigners targeting schools.

“I’m a little bit concerned about anti-vaccination [protesters] targeting schools at a time when we’re trying to get people to take up the vaccinations,” said Cllr Smith.

“My nephew is in Italy, he’s 15, they either have to get daily Covid tests to go into school or they have to have proof of vaccination.

“I don’t want to go into the mandatory vaccination debate, but I just wondered if we could use data where other countries have been vaccinating younger people for quite a long time and the success rate of doing that on bringing cases down.”

Mark Bayley, head of service for education infrastructure and outcomes at the council, said: “In terms of the anti-vaccs, Cheshire East has not had a significant issue although we did have a worrying case last week in a secondary school.

“We continue to monitor those and refer to the police or authorities as required.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted Cheshire East Council asking for more information about the incident referred to in a Cheshire East school.

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