Commenting on the reopening of the Covid workforce fund to provide financial assistance to schools
in covering staff absences, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“Many schools and colleges are footing huge extra costs for supply cover for staff who are absent because of Covid, and this situation is likely to worsen as a result of the new Omicron variant of the virus. We have called for the reopening of the Covid workforce fund to provide financial assistance to schools and colleges with these costs and we are pleased the government has listened.
“However, we are disappointed that the window for claims is so short covering only the period from 22 November until the end of the year. Schools and colleges have been experiencing these shortages for many weeks now and they are likely to continue for some time to come. And we are also disappointed that access to this funding is dependent on a similar maze of eligibility criteria as that applied last time it was available for a limited period last year.
“The workforce fund should be available for as long as needed rather than for short windows of time and this support should come without so many conditions attached