ASCL responds to school inset day decision

08/12/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on news that schools will be allowed to take an inset day on Friday 18 December. 
 
Commenting on news that schools will be allowed to take an inset day on Friday 18 December, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

We have been pressing the government to allow schools the flexibility to move staff training days to the end of term, or to move to remote learning for the last few days, so that last contact between pupils is at an earlier point.

The aim is to reduce the risk of pupils and staff having to self-isolate over Christmas, and to minimise the need for schools to carry out contact tracing in the Christmas holidays. 

We recognise the government has made a small concession, but we had hoped it would allow more flexibility than has been granted.

A single day is better than nothing, but it still means that school and college leaders will have to continue contact tracing in the event of positive cases through to Wednesday 23 December. 

It also leaves them responsible, at very short notice, for informing families that they will need to self-isolate over the Christmas period.

“It is frustrating also that the government has taken so long to agree this decision as there is so little time left for schools to make the necessary arrangements.”