Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, comments on the Government’s confirmation that it is dropping its plans to reopen schools more widely and is planning to open schools to all pupils in September.
“This decision by the Government to halt further reopening of primary schools was necessary. While we are all keen to welcome children and young people back to school, the concerns from our profession were based on questions of safety and practicality. It was clear back in May that plans were not feasible and it would have been helpful if the Government had trusted the profession to plan for a balance of remote and school learning.
Our teachers need to be supported by the Government to ensure that they can deliver high-quality teaching remotely and that they have the tools required to do this. There is also an issue of capacity – teachers are being hugely stretched by trying to teach remotely and in school at the same time.
What we need now is clear guidance from the Government so that our profession has plenty of time to plan for the autumn term. In addition, we need greater clarity regarding expectations regarding the summer holidays. Does the Government expect schools to be open over the holidays and staffed by trained and experienced teachers?
Colleagues in education have shown selfless professionalism and dedication to pupils throughout this crisis. We want to see a pledge from the Government now to value the contribution of teaching staff that prioritises their health and wellbeing and supports their efficacy through ongoing meaningful consultation.”