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Whiteman: Update government guidance will leave schools enormously frustrated

Today (Fri 27 Nov) the government has published what it calls ‘An updated contingency framework for all education settings’. This sets out how government would manage the exceptional circumstances in which further restrictions were required on education to help contain virus transmission within a community.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “Keeping schools open is the right priority, but achieving that successfully rests not so much with ministers, but on the shoulders of school leaders and their teams. With that in mind, the government should listen to what the profession is telling them.

“Throughout the pandemic schools have worked with constantly changing government guidance which has moved the goal-posts time and time again. Today is the latest example.

“It is enormously frustrating for schools which worked in good faith to develop detailed plans based on the tiered approach they were given earlier this term only to be told to disregard what they have done and to start all over again.

“The system, and the people who work in it are under unsustainable pressure. Much has been made in recent days of the freedom to use rotas in schools in order to keep learning going in the areas most heavily affected by covid. If leaders in those areas believe that they need the freedom to exercise some flexibility in how they maintain the highest quality education in their schools, then, at the very least, the government should listen to their professional judgement.”

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