ASCL comment on Week 47 school attendance statistics

24/11/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Week 47 school attendance statistics published today by the Department for Education.
 
Commenting on the Week 47 school attendance statistics published today by the Department for Education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“Nearly three-quarters of secondary schools and almost a third of primary schools have had to send home pupils because of the impact of coronavirus according to these latest statistics.
 
“The reality behind these figures is that many schools are experiencing disruption on a monumental scale and are desperately trying to cling on to the end of term.
 
“We support the priority of keeping schools open but the government has to give them the flexibility to operate rota systems if it would help to manage this turbulent situation.
 
“The fact is that the current disruption already amounts to many children rotating between school and home because of Covid protocols.
 
“So, allowing the introduction of managed rotas to help cope with this situation is not a particularly big step.
 
“However, the government seems to be implacably opposed to rotas and does not appear willing to give even this small concession to support schools.
 
“We once again call upon ministers to recognise the very difficult circumstances facing schools and take a more pragmatic approach.”