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NAHT comments on pupil attendance figures for first week of full school reopening

Commenting on figures released by the DfE today showing attendance levels during the first week back after schools in England fully reopened for all students on 8th March, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:

“Certainly for primary schools the return of all pupils appears to have gone smoothly. Teachers and school leaders have gone out of their way to make it a positive return and these figures show that attendance has been high.

“Secondary schools have faced more significant challenges, particularly in relation to the roll out of mass testing. Organising and administering tests is complex and the government’s muddled messaging about lateral flow tests and PCR tests hasn’t helped, which has been frustrating for schools.

“Above all though, school leaders and their teams were delighted to see so many pupils back in class last week. The government now needs to make sure it is doing everything to keep schools as safe as possible and to keep them open. We also expect them to keep a very close eye on the emerging data and assess the impact of the wider re-opening.

“Government must ensure that schools have the resources they need to fully support pupils socially, emotionally and academically. Without doubt this will require additional funding extending well beyond the current academic year.”

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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