Responding to the Secretary of State for Education’s speech in the House of Commons today, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“Schools were told at 8pm on Monday night that they would to switch to remote learning by 9am the next day and to organise provision for vulnerable and key worker pupils. They have spent the last 48 hours working tirelessly to put plans in place, despite the fact that on Sunday the PM was saying that schools would remain open.
“Meanwhile pupils up and down the country are still awaiting the internet devices that were promised last summer. We’re into the ninth month of the pandemic and many schools and pupils are still waiting for their allocation to come through. And devices are only being made available for older primary pupils, not those in key stage 1 at all. The government really has really let young people down miserably on this one.
“It is therefore nothing short of disgraceful that the government should choose today to start threatening schools about the quality of their remote learning offer. Schools are keeping going in the most extreme circumstances right now – support is needed to overcome the challenges they face, not threat or sanction.
“The profession has predicted all the difficulties the government has failed to navigate schools through. I therefore appeal again to government to work alongside the profession constructively in place of threats and empty words. The announcements today do nothing to redress the damage the government has caused to children’s education.”
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