Gove admits ‘big lessons’ need to be learned over care homes

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said there are “big lessons” to be learned from the treatment of care homes during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Gove said the Government had taken “significant steps” to improve the situation of those in care homes.

However, amid growing criticism that they had failed to provide adequate support to the sector, he acknowledged the situation remained a “challenge”.

“There are big lessons to be learned,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.

“We are still living through this pandemic and there will be lessons to be learned. We have taken significant steps to improve the care of people in care homes.

“There will be a point in the future when all of us can look back and reflect and make sure we have learned the appropriate lessons.

“At the moment, we are focused on making sure we beat the virus and protect people as effectively as possible.”

Mr Gove also issued a fresh appeal to teaching unions and to councils who have expressed concerns about the Government’s plans to begin reopening schools from next month to think again.

“The clear scientific and clinical advice is that it is safe to have schools reopen accompanied with social distancing,” he said.

“Children only have one chance at education. Over the last decade we have made significant strides in closing the closing the gap between the richest and poorest in our schools. This lockdown has put that at risk.

“If progressive countries like Denmark can be teaching children and have them back in schools, then so should we. The whole point about being a teacher is you love your job. It is a mission, a vocation, to be able to excite young minds.”

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