ASCL comment on school attendance figures

02/03/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the latest statistics on school attendance.
 
Commenting on the latest statistics on school attendance, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Huge credit should go to schools for continuing to run face-to-face education for many children of key workers and vulnerable children during the lockdown, while also providing remote education to all other children.

“The number of children on site has been much higher in many schools than in the first lockdown, and it has been extremely unhelpful that the government has at no point clarified whether there is a safe limit.

“Schools are now focused on the task of reopening to all pupils from 8 March. They are very much looking forward to welcoming back all children. 

“However, this has been made more challenging for secondary schools by the lack of clear direction from the government over the use of face coverings in classrooms, as well as the huge logistical exercise of running Covid testing stations.

“In its guidance over face coverings, the government says in one breath only that they are recommended, and in another that they must be implemented. 

“It is not fair to provide schools with contradictory guidance and expect them to navigate the ensuing minefield
.”