ASCL comment on controversy over the final week of the school term

14/12/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the situation regarding Covid infection rates and the final week of the school term.
 
 Commenting on the situation regarding Covid infection rates and the final week of the school term, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We now have a chaotic situation in which Greenwich council has asked schools to close for classroom teaching from tonight, the Mayor of London has suggested the early closure of secondary schools, and the government is threatening schools with legal action if they decide to move to remote learning for the last few days of term.
 
“It is deeply unfair on school leaders, teachers, families and pupils that they are caught between the heavy-handed approach of central government and increasing alarm at local infection rates.
 
“Over the past few weeks, we have repeatedly called on the government to give schools the flexibility to move to remote learning in the final week of term based on the fact that they best know the circumstances they are facing. If it had allowed this to happen, schools would have had a much better chance of being able to plan an orderly end to the term.
 
“Although it is now incredibly late in the day, the government must remove the threat of legal action and allow schools to make the decisions they need to make on behalf of their staff and children. In the future, it must allow for more nuanced responses to local infection rates and the huge disruption affecting many schools rather than insisting on a one-size-fits-all approach.”