Commenting on the paper
published today by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on children and Covid transmission, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“This paper finds that while Covid infection rates have increased among school-age children since September, there is no clear evidence about the extent to which schools being open may drive the rate of infection.
“On the other hand, there is clear evidence of the negative educational and mental health impact of children missing school.
“In our view, the balance of risks therefore strongly remains in favour of keeping schools open and this is absolutely the right priority.
“Schools have worked extremely hard to implement and manage Covid safety controls to minimise the risk of transmission and remain open.
“It is clear that the situation with Covid remains precarious and that the government must be ready to act if further restrictions are necessary.
“However, everything possible must be done to keep schools open, and to support the staff who have done such a superb job in managing this exceptionally difficult situation.”