ASCL comment on school attendance statistics

21/09/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the statistics from the Department for Education on attendance in education settings.
 
Commenting on the statistics from the Department for Education on attendance in education settings, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

It is clear from the fact that over 100,000 pupils were absent from school last week with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus that educational disruption remains significant. We are hearing of schools where significant numbers of pupils are absent.

“We are hopeful that the vaccination programme for 12 to 15-year-olds will help to reduce this level of disruption. However, the government must also take more action to support schools and colleges.

“It should launch a public information campaign to encourage twice-weekly home-testing among pupils in the appropriate age groups, provide funding for high-quality ventilation systems in schools and colleges, and commit to providing more support if on-site testing is directed under the contingency framework.

“School and colleges also urgently need confirmation of the adaptations for next summer’s exams, and the contingency planning in the event of exams not being able to take place. It is extremely frustrating that this guidance has still not been issued
.”