ASCL comment on school attendance and laptops

19/01/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on government statistics on school attendance and delivery of laptops.
 
Commenting on government statistics on school attendance and delivery of laptops, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Government statistics confirm that school attendance is much higher than during the first lockdown. This has put schools under tremendous pressure as they have to juggle face-to-face teaching for those in school with remote education for those at home. It has also raised concerns about how many children it is safe to have in schools during a time in which the Prime Minister has advised people to stay at home and save lives. We still haven’t had a clear answer from the government on this crucial question.

Another set of government statistics shows the number of laptops and tablets delivered to schools. While we are very pleased with the progress that is now being made on this issue, the frustration is that we are nearly a year into the crisis, and deep into a second period of restricted school opening, and it has still not been fully resolved. Even now, we are not convinced that the government fully understands the need that exists both in terms of devices and connectivity. It did not get to grips with this issue early enough, and it has been playing catch-up ever since.”