“It is clear that demand for places is significantly higher during this national lockdown, meaning schools have been placed in the invidious position of balancing safe pupil numbers in school with the higher expectations of the delivery of up to five hours a day of lessons online.”
“Schools and councils need to focus on providing education during the pandemic, without any unnecessary distractions. This is why we are urging Ofsted to postpone the resumption of monitoring inspections for schools, either in-person or virtual, until after February half-term at the earliest.”
“While we support the premise of testing before term restarts, it is crucial that all secondary schools are properly supported and able to effectively administer these tests without significant disruption to the children’s learning."
“The Government needs to go further to help schools pay for the cost of the pandemic. Unless the COVID-19 workforce fund is extended after Christmas, backdated and eligibility for it widened, more schools will have no option but to close after having spent their budgets on supply teachers, which will only serve to exacerbate growing attainment gaps.”
“It is vital that the expertise of local public health teams is used to help with the logistics and rollout of the plan, while government needs to urgently publish guidance that supports this announcement to provide clarity for schools, address questions which currently remain unanswered, and takes account of local needs and capacity challenges.”
“Councils want to work with schools and local health teams to do all they can to ensure staff, pupils, parents and visitors can be in school settings, safely and securely, without risk of passing on coronavirus.”
The Early Years Local Government Programme has been instrumental in helping councils shape priorities and improve services and prospects for children and families, an independent external evaluation has found.
“The pandemic has led to rising numbers of families facing exceptionally difficult circumstances and councils have worked tirelessly with schools to keep them open and children and their families safe and well, through online and virtual contact and resources, as well as high priority home visits."
“Unless this funding is made more long-term and less restrictive, more schools may have to close after having spent their budgets on supply teachers, which will only serve to exacerbate growing attainment gaps.”