Commenting on the latest Department for Education school attendance statistics
, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“The number of fully open secondary schools has fallen for the third week in a row, reflecting the extremely difficult circumstances in which schools are continuing to operate amidst rising Covid infection rates.
“School leaders and their staff deserve great credit for the huge amount of work they are putting into managing complex control measures while delivering education for those in school as well as those who are at home self-isolating.
“The pressure is immense and we are increasingly concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of school leaders and their staff.
“There is much that the government could and should do to relieve the sources of stress that it can control.
“It is ludicrous to resume Ofsted inspections in January, as currently planned, in light of so much disruption and these should be suspended for this academic year.
“School performance tables have to be ruled out given that it is impossible to compare schools fairly in these circumstances.
“And the government must reimburse schools for the cost of implementing Covid safety measures which are putting tight budgets under even more strain.”