School teachers in France struck on 10 November to demand better virus controls in schools.
Their demands included:
• Rota systems, with students in school half-time, to allow half-size classes
• More staff, again to facilitate smaller classes
• Better ventilation and cleaning
• Free masks. (Masks are compulsory in French schools).
Unions report a 45% turnout for the strike from junior high schools and 20% from primary. In some areas students blockaded senior high schools in the days before the strike as an act of solidarity.
On 5 November, the government tried to deflect the strike by authorising 50% rota systems for senior high schools.
The unions stress that they aim to avoid a new closure of schools, and pledge further action if the government won’t budge.
With a new lockdown from 30 October, there are (from 8 November) tentative signs of infections decreasing in France. Future battles in schools may, for now, depend on whether that decrease solidifies.