HUNDREDS of hardline headteachers are set to defy the Government – and BLOCK pupils’ return to school next week.
A union survey shows more than 700 schools won’t reopen fully in September – instead phasing students back in or using ‘transition periods’ to get youngsters back into class.
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Hundreds of headteachers will flout Government orders to reopen schools fully to all pupils next week[/caption]
It comes after months of battles between Government officials and hardkine unions[/caption]
It comes after months of battles between the Government and union chiefs who have vowed to disrupt plans to reopen schools.
Boris Johnson says all pupils need to be back in class at the start of September following huge disruption to the summer term amid the coronavirus crisis.
But the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) survey reported by TES magazine reveals many school chiefs are will flout the mandate – despite official guidance on student ‘bubbles’.
Officials at the union say the number represents a “tiny percentage” of total schools and any delays are intended to “alleviate pupils’ anxieties about the return”.
The survey also revealed that nine in 10 teachers are worried about how social distancing in schools will work.
Nearly 6,000 school staff in England were polled.
Of that number, 86 per cent thought minimising contact between pupils would not be possible.
Two-thirds say guidance to avoid busy corridors, entrances and exits is unrealistic.
In addition, more than a quarter of staff may not comply with the Test and Trace programme should there be a coronavirus outbreak at their school.
But school leaders in England still have concerns over the official guidance[/caption]
More than a third feel that the Government’s approach to coronavirus safety in schools will not work and leaves them “at risk”, the poll showed.
It’s just the latest clash between education officials and unions since schools shut in March.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the NAHT, urged parents to send their children back to school despite the concerns.
“Please do not let the very public political difficulties and arguments cloud your confidence in schools,” he said.
“School leaders and their teams have continued to do all that has been asked of them.
“With cooperation and understanding between home and school we can achieve the very best return possible, despite the political noise.”
Gavin Williamson has warned that Brits “can’t fail this test”.
The beleagured Education Secretary — who is facing calls to resign over the disastrous GCSE and A-level exam results fiasco — says the Government ‘must get this right’ for the sake of every child’s future.
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Health chiefs say kids have a “near zero” risk of getting coronavirus in school.
A Government spokesman argued parents were “increasingly confident in their children returning to school”.
“Getting all children back into their classrooms full-time in September is a national priority because it is the best place for their education, development and wellbeing,” the spokesman said.