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NAHT comments on government’s COVID-19 strategy

Commenting on the publication of ‘Our Plan to Rebuild – The UK Government’s COVID-19 Strategy’, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said “The government’s determination is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month. This is not currently a feasible scenario. The availability of school staff, the sheer number of pupils, and the sizes of school classrooms and corridors, combined with the need for social distancing measures, mean that the government’s calculations simply don’t add up.

“Based on the current trajectory it seems wildly optimistic, to the point of being irresponsible, to suggest that we will be in a position to return all primary children to school within the next seven weeks. This will give false hope to families and parents that we are further along the road to recovery than we actually are.

“School leaders do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be. But there is not a school leader in the land who wants to risk admitting more pupils unless it is safe to do so.”

Commenting on the plan for staff to make their own protective masks, Mr Whiteman said: “Frankly, it is an insult to dedicated professionals to expect them to do their duty equipped with no more protection than a homemade face-mask and a bar of soap.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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