Commenting as the government announces extra funding for schools to cover the unique challenges and financial costs of the coronavirus outbreak, including extended school provision and free school meals vouchers over the Easter holidays, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:
“Today the government has taken an important first step in detailing how schools will be reimbursed for the additional costs they have faced as a result of the current coronavirus crisis.
“Whilst everybody’s first priority right now is the safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff, school leaders are also having to consider the financial impact that the additional support is likely to have.
“This overarching guidance is a helpful starting point but we need more detail about how this will work in practice. Schools will need reassurance that the full range of additional costs from staffing to free school meals will be covered by the scheme. The government is asking a lot of schools and it is only fair that the additional costs are covered as they have been in other areas of the economy.
“The government has described schools as being at the front line in the fight against this crisis. Schools are already in the midst of a financial crisis and so the crucial work to support children and families at this time has to be properly funded. As with other frontline services it has to be clear that schools will get all that they need to do the job, without compromise.
“As a matter of urgency, we will now be seeking clarity from the government regarding the detail of this scheme to ensure that there are no unreasonable restrictions and that the full range of additional costs are covered.”
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