ASCL responds to Prime Minister’s comment on school reopening

31/07/2020
Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to the Prime Minister’s comment in his press conference today that getting pupils back to school in September is “a national priority”
 
Responding to the Prime Minister’s comment in his press conference today that getting pupils back to school in September is “a national priority”, Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We are pleased that the Prime Minister has stated that getting pupils back into school in September is a national priority. We agree wholeheartedly and we fully support this ambition.

“But we remain concerned that the government still lacks a Plan B in the event that this does not prove possible because of infection rates, or if there is a second national shutdown. Its guidance envisages only a scenario in which schools close on a local basis in response to infection spikes, and instructs them to have contingency plans in place.

“It would surely be prudent, however, for the government to have an alternative strategy if there is a second national shutdown, or otherwise we will back to square one again. For example, this could take the form of blended learning with pupils spending some time in school and some time learning at home. But the detail of such a plan needs to be developed now. We would then have an off-the-peg Plan B that is ready to go if needed.

“We can all see from recent events how precarious the situation remains over the control of coronavirus, and we cannot assume that Plan A will work.”