ASCL comment on flexibility for primary schools to bring back more pupils

15/06/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to government guidance giving primary schools greater flexibility to invite back more pupils
 
Responding to government guidance giving primary schools greater flexibility to invite back more pupils, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We welcome the opportunity for primary schools to invite back more pupils. In truth, most schools will have limited capacity to bring back more pupils while restricting class sizes to no more than 15 in distinct and consistent groups. However, some school leaders have indicated that they would like to be able to do this. It is helpful that the government is allowing schools the flexibility to prioritise which children they think will most benefit from time in school, if they are able to offer this.

“We are also pleased that the government has listened to our suggestion that all schools and colleges should be able to invite pupils in for a one-off ‘check in’ session before the end of term. This will help teachers to get a clearer sense of how pupils have found learning from home, to check on their wellbeing, and to plan further teaching.

“However, these changes do not make up for the lack of a long-term, strategic plan for education over the coming months. What we really need is the government to join with the profession as a matter of urgency, in developing a national plan to bring more children back to school as soon as possible, and provide support to help children catch-up with missed learning. We need a coherent strategy both for the immediate future and beyond.”