Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the Prime Minister’s announcement in the House of Commons that students will no longer be required to wear face masks in classrooms from Thursday 20 January.
“The Prime Minister’s decision to announce that students will no longer be required to wear face masks in classrooms will be welcomed, if it is supported by sound public health and scientific advice.
“However, the situation in schools and colleges remains extremely challenging with significant levels of pupil and staff absence because of Covid-19 as well as difficulties in obtaining supply cover because of high demand.
“We continue to be very concerned about the ongoing disruption to education and the lack of sufficient support from the government for testing, ventilation, and the costs of supply cover. This really does need to be addressed.
“There is a danger that we are heading once again for a situation in which the government gives the impression that the crisis is over when in actual fact there is huge disruption continuing to take place in education and it is very far from being a case of business as normal.”