ASCL responds to new national lockdown in England

04/01/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders responds to the Prime Minister’s announcement about the spring term in England.
 
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement about the spring term in England, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
We are relieved the government has finally bowed to the inevitable and agreed to move schools and colleges to remote education in response to alarming Covid infection rates. 
 
It is very frustrating that it issued legal threats to schools at the end of last term to prevent them moving to remote education, and then made a series of chaotic announcements about the start of this term
 
“Everybody understands this is a fast-moving situation, but ministers have to stop boxing themselves into a corner by being so dogmatic about their plans even as those plans are obviously unravelling.
 
We hope the government will now work constructively with the profession to bring all pupils back into schools and colleges as soon as it is safe to do so, with timely information and guidance, and that it avoids its usual shambolic approach.
 
This decision clearly raises a question about GCSEs, A-levels and other exams which are due to take place in the summer. 

This new lockdown will be disruptive to learners who have already been hugely disrupted. Schools and colleges are very worried about how exams can be made fair in these circumstances.
 
We are keen to work with the government and exam regulator Ofqual to make this process as fair as it can possibly be.