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Comment on key worker and vulnerable children attending school

Gail Tolley, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee said:

“The government’s decision to partially close schools and colleges in England for a second time will not have been taken lightly. It is important to recognise schools provide much more than education to our children and that they are a vital safety net for the most vulnerable learners, therefore, we are pleased schools will remain open for this cohort and for children of critical workers throughout the current lockdown. The cohort of children eligible to attend school is wider than it was during the first lockdown in March last year, however, it would not be helpful for Department for Education guidance to place a limit on how many pupils can attend each setting. Head teachers will have the best understanding as to how many pupils they can accommodate on site based on the number of staff available and whilst complying with public health advice. In some local areas we are aware that schools have had a high proportion of their pupils continuing to attend although the Department for Education has recently updated its guidance advising parents and carers who are critical workers to keep their children at home if they can.

It is essential that the Department for Education is clear as to its expectations of schools and other education settings. Head teachers and other education leaders have been under immense pressure since the outbreak of the pandemic. Delivering clear and careful messages to all settings as well as parents in order to reduce anxiety and limit any additional pressure is vital.”


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