Commenting on the decision to close schools, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“We welcome the Government’s announcement that, for public health reasons, schools will now close. It is better for this to take place in an ordered way than the chaotic pattern of closures that was developing.

“We also welcome the clarity that SATs, GCSE, AS- and A-Level exams are to be cancelled.

“This offers some degree of reassurance to teachers, their students and parents.

“We note that, at this time of emergency, the Government has decided that teacher assessment is indeed a good method of giving reliable information about young people’s progress and achievements.  We will return to that when this crisis is over.

“Now, more than anything else the Government needs to concentrate on ensuring that children in food poverty are fed properly - these children are not just those on free school meals.”

ENDS

2020-040-NEU