Commenting as a new report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) shows that the most deprived schools require additional support to meet the costs of Covid-19, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:
“School budgets were set before the pandemic hit and were already incredibly tight. The mandatory unanticipated costs schools are now facing due to Covid-19, that have so far gone unreimbursed by the government, mean that money could be taken away from children’s education and wellbeing and some schools could be pushed over the edge financially.
“Our research shows that in just the first few weeks of term schools spent on average more than £8,000 pounds each on the safety measures demanded by the government. With restrictions set to continue until March next year, costs are spiralling.
“Last week the government offered a glimmer of hope for some schools, promising some financial assistance, but only for staffing costs and only if they have exhausted their financial reserves. There is still no additional money to help schools pay for essentials like sanitiser, masks, soap and other cleaning products. We would like to see the government go further, and our continuing discussions with them will focus on this in the coming weeks.”
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