Commenting as the latest school attendance figures released by the government show an increase in the number of children physically attending school, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:
“Whilst discussion of schools ‘reopening’ dominates the headlines, these figures are a timely reminder that schools did not really close in the first place. A significant number of children continue to be taught by their teachers in school every day, while often those same teachers are simultaneously supporting remote learning to those pupils that remain at home.
“Our own survey of school leaders suggests that up to 2,000 schools in England have had over 40% of pupils attending since the start of lockdown. In planning for a return of more pupils to face-to-face education, Government should scrutinise the infection rates and transmission within the minority of schools and communities where significant numbers of pupils and parents continue to meet daily. Understanding the level of risk presented by higher numbers of pupils in school would appear key to planning for a safe and sustainable return to school for all pupils.”
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