Jersey's minister for education resigns as school concerns 'dismissed'

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image copyrightGovernment of Jersey
image captionSenator Tracey Vallois voiced concerns about schools reopening

Jersey's minister for education has resigned after she claimed her concerns about the opening of schools in the island were dismissed.

In a letter to the chief minister, Senator Tracey Vallois said she questioned what "real authority" she had in Covid-19 decision-making.

Ms Vallois added she also has "unanswered" questions for ministers.

The chief minister John Le Fondre thanked Ms Vallois for her hard work.

School children returned to classrooms on Monday but Ms Vallois said she was still concerned over the impact the new Covid variant might have on transmission.

She said: "I've always respected the view of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) and our chief medical officer of health but do not accept their expertise around the operation of a school environment (all of which are different) or the domino effect that the mitigations around Covid-19 have on the ability to deliver good quality education."

Ms Vallois added she had "reasonably requested" that her "dissent to the reconnection plan" was noted but her questions had not been answered.

She said "a number of times" her "fight to be listened to" was dismissed.

Senator Le Fondre thanked Ms Vallois for her "hard work and commitment to the education and the welfare of our island's students".

He said it was "an extremely difficult time for our whole school community" but reassured islanders that the safety and wellbeing of students and staff was a "top priority".

"We will continue to keep the situation under constant review working with the health professionals," he added.

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