Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The government could not have created more of a shambolic situation. They have handed schools a confused and chaotic mess at the 11th hour.
“Throughout this pandemic the government’s actions have actively worked against the ambition of delivering the best education possible.
“By dropping this on schools minutes before the end of term, leaders are left with no time to implement government’s instructions. Schools, pupils and parents are now left with no clear idea of what is expected of them, or what to expect next term.
“Primary schools appear to have been completely ignored in this announcement. School staff and parents of younger children are rightly worried about transmission of the virus over Christmas and will struggle to understand why they are being treated differently.
“Once again, an announcement that, if properly planned and executed could have been positive, is poised to fail. It is now urgent that the government confirms to schools the precise levels of support available to them to carry out testing.
“If education is the priority government says it is they can't keep layering extra responsibilities on schools. Time to support schools in delivering education rather than expecting them to support everything else.”
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