ASCL comment on Week 29 school attendance figures

20/07/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Week 29 school attendance figures published by the Department for Education today. 
 
Commenting on the Week 29 school attendance figures published by the Department for Education today, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“These figures bring a year of unprecedented educational disruption to a grim end with Covid-related absences in our schools topping the one-million mark.
  
“Our schools and colleges now face another set of challenges when students return in September. They need substantial financial and practical support for on-site asymptomatic testing for students, high-quality air ventilation systems and robust outbreak management plans.
 
“This work cannot be done on the cheap and the government needs to stop counting the pennies and address the situation with a proper injection of support and funding to allow leaders to prepare properly. We simply cannot have this level of disruption to education during the next academic year.
  
“We must pay tribute to the resilience and leadership of our schools and colleges as they have fought hard to keep young people in the classroom towards the end of an exhausting year of unrelenting pressure and challenge.”