Commenting on the latest ​announcement from Boris Johnson on the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in England and the requirement for face coverings in classrooms to be ended, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said,  

"Schools and colleges are still feeling the impact of Covid-19. The latest ONS infection survey update shows 1 in 10 primary age pupils have Covid-19. While the trend amongst secondary aged children is down it is however uncertain, due to the short time schools have been back since the Christmas holidays, that this trend will continue. Such uncertainty could lead to a pronounced risk of increased disruption with children and staff having to isolate.

'We are concerned to see what the Covid-19 related absence is when figures are released next week. The danger is we lift restrictions too quickly before the effects of returning to school are clear. This will result in more education disruption which is extremely worrying particularly for pupils taking national exams this year whose education has been so badly disrupted already. 

'Rather than announcements aimed at saving Boris Johnson’s job, Government should be exercising a duty of care to the nation’s pupils and the staff who educate them. This disruption is at the door of the Government who should have got ventilation and filtration solutions in place before Omicron as advised by SAGE and they should be getting these solutions in place urgently now to ensure ​interruption of education remains at the minimum." 

ENDS 

2022-008-NEU