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Recent investment in schools should not be undermined by schools having to foot the bill for additional Covid-19 costs

New data from school leaders’ union NAHT shows the financial costs associated with making schools safe for pupils during the Coronavirus crisis.

  • the average total estimated additional cost to a school that has and/or will be incurred in order to allow pupils to return to school is £9,990
  • the average total estimated value of lost income (for example, in rental or lettings) to a school as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic is £15,915

Early messages from government suggested that schools could expect to be fully reimbursed for the additional costs they incurred as a result of the current crisis.

However, it is now clear that costs incurred by schools to meet the government’s guidance on the safe readmittance of pupils are not covered. These include buying more hand washing stations, implementing additional cleaning regimes and additional staff requirements.

Many schools now face a double whammy of unanticipated but necessary increased costs, exacerbated by lost income as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Whiteman Commented:

“The government has rightly recognised that major investment in schools is needed. The money being made available for new school buildings and to support those pupils who have suffered most during lockdown is certainly welcome.

“However, this investment must not be undermined by a failure to support schools facing significant costs as a result of putting in place the safety measures required by the government.

“School leaders have had to quickly implement measures to make their schools safe for pupils. This has included sourcing additional hand washing facilities, PPE equipment and implementing extensive cleaning regimes.  On top of this, schools have spent thousands of pounds providing free school meals for pupils when the national system failed to work.

“The restrictions being placed around the government’s reimbursement scheme could mean that a proportion of the additional funds schools are due to receive will be offset by the Covid-19 costs they have already faced.

“Every pound spent on cleaning materials is a pound that cannot be spent on a child’s education.”

 

Survey Info 

We surveyed our members between 17 and 23 June and received 1821 responses.

Between the start of the covid-19 pandemic and the beginning of September 2020:

• the average total estimated additional cost to a school that has and/or will be incurred in order to allow pupils to return to school is £9,990  

• the average total estimated value of lost income (for example, in rental or lettings) to a school as a direct result of the covid-19 pandemic is £15,915  

• almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of schools have incurred additional staff costs for cleaning or site management  

• almost two-thirds (59 per cent) of schools have incurred additional costs for teaching staff (either supply, temporary, or permanent) or for additional teaching assistant time   

• almost half (49 per cent) have purchased or rented hand-washing stations  

• almost all (99 per cent) have purchased additional cleaning supplies (such as gel, sanitiser and disinfectant)  

• an overwhelming majority (95 per cent) of respondents have purchased personal protective equipment  

• more than eight in ten respondents have purchased signage, traffic cones, tape and barriers (85 per cent); and sundries (such as pedal bins) (84 per cent).


Press and Media contacts:

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

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk