We are aware that protests over the issue of climate change are planned in several towns and cities on Friday 15 February and students are being encouraged to take part during school and college hours. Headteachers who are concerned about this situation are advised to talk with their Chair of Governors to agree a strategy for the day and to send out clear and comprehensive guidance to parents accordingly. The guidance will need to consider the safety and wellbeing of young people who are intending to leave the school premises and what actions will be taken in terms of school behaviour policies and unauthorised absences.
In response to media inquiries about this protest, we have issued the following statement. Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “While we understand the strength of feeling over the very important issue of climate change, we would urge pupils against walking out of school on Friday. It is extremely disruptive for a school to have to deal with unauthorised absences and pupils will be missing out on important learning time.”