Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“The government announced new national lockdown measures on Saturday – 4 days ago. It beggars belief that schools have had to wait until now to find out how it affects them. All along we have said the priority must be children and young people and their education and wellbeing. The government’s last minute publication of this guidance does not help schools in this matter one bit.
“Frankly, it is ridiculous that this new guidance has landed on school leaders’ desks less than 24 hours before the start of the national lockdown. There is very little in the guidance that could not have been communicated with schools 72 hours ago. The government still have many questions to answer when it comes to how it will ensure schools are kept safe amidst rising case numbers.
“Given the restrictions around clinically extremely vulnerable staff, the reality is that some schools may now find it increasingly difficult to remain open to all pupils.
“We restate our call for the government to fully fund all measures that schools will need to take to remain open, including covid safety measures and any additional costs that may come from hiring in supply staff.
“At the most challenging time schools have ever faced many school leaders will yet again be feeling enormously let down by the way the government is handling all of this.”
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