ASCL responds to Education Secretary’s comments on full return of schools

19/06/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders responds to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s comments about schools reopening to all pupils in September. 
 
Commenting on Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s comments about schools reopening to all pupils in September, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
We fully support the government’s aim of bringing all pupils back into schools and colleges from September, if the science confirms it is safe to do so. We are committed to working with officials and ministers on this national mission.
 
But full return will not be possible under current government guidelines which limit class sizes to 15. We would need twice as many classrooms, and twice as many teachers.
 
The Education Secretary has today indicated that there will be further guidance in the next two weeks which we assume will set out new safety measures in line with scientific and medical advice that will allow for a full return from September. 
 
We hope to discuss this guidance with the Department for Education at the earliest opportunity in order to provide constructive feedback.
 
“It is very important that this guidance is supplied to schools and colleges as soon as possible. They are doing their best to put in place plans for September but they have so far had to do this in the dark without any input from the government. 
 
They also urgently need answers about what is envisaged in terms of exams and assessments next year so that they can plan accordingly.