"The impacts of COVID-19 will be with us for years to come. They will show up in economic hardship, mental health issues, attainment gaps and more, and it will be up to councils, schools and their partners to support children and their families to navigate these challenges."
“The Government needs to urgently complete its positive ongoing review of the SEND system. This needs to set out reforms that increase mainstream inclusion, provide councils with long-term certainty of funding to meet immense demand for SEND support."
“The Government should work with councils and schools on education recovery and set out plans for the summer and beyond as soon as possible to help teachers and staff plan ahead to make up for lost learning due to the pandemic."
“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.”