ASCL comment on talks with scientific advisers over reopening of schools

15/05/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on today’s talks with the government’s scientific advisers over plans to reopen schools to more pupils
 
Commenting on today’s talks with the government’s scientific advisers over plans to reopen schools to more pupils, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We are pleased to have had direct talks with the government’s scientific advisers, and with assurances they have given to us during that meeting about the safety of reopening schools to more pupils from a possible date of June 1. We are now going to take stock of what has been said, communicate the outcome of this meeting to our members, and invite their feedback.

“It is important to understand that none of this is about impeding the process of reopening schools. School and college leaders want to see children and young people back in the classroom as soon as possible, and we are supporting our members with information and advice as they carry out the detailed planning to make this happen.

“There are, however, concerns which need to be addressed, particularly around the fact that the government’s plan involves a significant increase of children in primary schools from June 1, with a focus on bringing in young age groups for whom social distancing is most difficult.

“We are asking questions about the science which underpins this approach on behalf of our members, their staff, parents and pupils. It is vital that school communities have confidence that it is safe to return. We continue to work constructively with government to this end.”