Commenting at the end of the first day of wider reopening of schools (Monday 8th March), Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:
“In primary schools, where all pupils are expected to be back from today, this appears to have gone smoothly. Teachers and school leaders have gone out of their way to make it a positive return and we are hearing that attendance is high.
“In secondary schools, we have seen the start of a staggered return, as schools roll out mass testing. Organising and administering tests has certainly added another layer of complexity to the return and, because of that, not all pupils will be back in the classroom today. The government’s muddled messaging about lateral flow tests and PCR tests has added confusion to that complexity, which will be frustrating for schools.
“Above all, school leaders and their teams will be delighted to see so many pupils back in class. The government needs to make sure it is doing everything to keep schools as safe as possible, and to make sure they have the resources they need to fully support pupils socially, emotionally and academically. Without doubt this will require additional funding extending well beyond the current academic year.”
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