Commenting on the latest school attendance statistics
, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“It is a relief to finally see positive progress on school attendance after months of severe disruption to education caused by the coronavirus, but the latest figures indicate we are not out of the woods yet and that the government has more work to do.
“The natural circuit-breaker afforded by the half-term holiday seems to have had a positive effect on infection rates among both students and school staff, whilst the vaccination programme for 12 to 15-year-olds is also playing its part. It has taken much longer than the government anticipated to reach the stage where a million young people have been vaccinated and there must now be a concerted push to complete the job.
“Encouraging those who haven’t yet been vaccinated to get their jab and asking all students to continue Covid testing at home must remain the government’s focus. But it must also now provide funding for high-quality ventilation systems that schools and colleges need. Asking them to simply open more doors and windows is not a viable solution as outdoor temperatures plummet.”