Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said: “You don’t need a crystal ball to see that there will almost inevitably be some disruption in the coming weeks and months. Schools need clarity about what they will be expected to do when that disruption occurs, and so do parents and families. We’ve been calling for the government to publish a Plan B for several weeks. Finally it is here, but another late night publication is fairly typical of what we’ve become used to.
“School leaders have a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders at the moment and they will be hoping that this guidance provides some clarity over what will happen should further lockdowns become necessary. These plans will ultimately rely on effective decision making, informed by reliable data about regional transmission rates. The desire to keep schools open as long as possible is one we share, yet it must continue to be balanced against the need to keep pupils, staff and parents safe as we move into the autumn and winter months.”
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