Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said:
“We want to see young people facing the minimum amount of disruption to their education as possible, so keeping schools open is the priority, but this must be done in a safe way. Additional measures will almost certainly be needed to ensure this so we are asking for an urgent review of the current guidance.
“The safety of both staff and pupils must be paramount. Ultimately, staff who fall ill will be unable to come in to work which will only make it harder and harder to keep schools open.
“The rushed, last-minute nature of the lockdown announcement on Saturday will not have done anything to inspire public confidence. Families will be left wondering about the safety of their children and relatives, and we could see attendance figures drop when term restarts as families are left guessing about what is safe and what isn’t.
“We have already recommended that the government removes the threat of attendance fines for families this term. Now we are heading back into lockdown rather than out of it, as many of us had hoped by now, the government absolutely must take fines off the table.”
Press and Media contacts:
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Senior Press Officer
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First published 03 November 2020