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NAHT's position on the re-opening of schools

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A message from NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman to members

Yesterday you may have seen a news story about the re-opening of schools.

That story was accompanied with a headline suggesting that NAHT is ‘lobbying’ for schools to be re-opened in the summer term.

I need to be very clear that this headline was incorrect. NAHT is not lobbying for schools to be re-opened in the summer term.

Our position is, and always has been, that schools should only re-open when the scientific evidence is clear that it is safe to do so. Safe for pupils, safe for staff, safe for parents.

I have also been very clear that there is a range of other factors and practical implications that must be taken into account including, for example, the availability of staff. I have been clear that it would not be possible to simply ‘flick a switch’ and expect schools to re-open at short notice. It will require planning and the government will need to work with the profession on this.

Of course, we all want to be able to return to a degree of normality as soon as it is safe to do so. If the science supports a safe return to school before the end of July and this was practicable, then there would be obvious advantages in being able to do so.

However, I need to reiterate in very clear terms, the headline you may have seen yesterday was not an accurate reflection of the NAHT position or my personal view.  

First published 14 April 2020