Schools are in disarray as more than a quarter of the staff is expected to be absent next week, prompting fears of closure.
SCHOOLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY could be thrown into chaos if a quarter of the staff is forced to isolate next week due to Covid.
The Association of School and College Leaders’ general secretary, Geoff Barton, told BBC Breakfast that the impact of Covid on school absences has been “mixed” so far this term.
He went on to say that this is due to the fact that not all schools have reopened after the Christmas break, and that a better picture of the situation will emerge in the coming weeks.
“Not all schools and colleges are open yet, and they won’t be until Monday, so we won’t have a complete picture of staff absence until next week,” he said.
“A snatched snapshot taken earlier in the week from a small number of primary schools suggested that around 10% of the staff might be absent.”
“The government is considering laying off up to 25% of its workforce.”
Mr. Barton praised children who lived through the pandemic for what they have accomplished as part of the “Covid generation.”
His remarks came after the government announced that face masks would be worn in secondary school classrooms in England to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.
Face coverings will be temporarily reinstated in order to address concerns about schools remaining open for in-person instruction.
“Masks are one way to get more young people in school and remind ourselves that young people are playing a really important role in protecting each other and their teachers,” Mr Barton said.
“It’s almost as if those WWII evacuees were thinking, ‘Look what we did, look what we accomplished, but look what we learned from it.’
“We were a part of the Covid generation,” says one of the participants.
“I give credit to those students and the entire school staff.”
Mr. Barton went on to say that while young people dislike wearing masks, they “recognize that this is one way that they stay in education.”
Face coverings will be required until at least January 26, according to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, the deadline for national Plan B Covid measures to end.
Mr Zahawi warned earlier this week about the impact of staff shortages on schools following the Christmas break.
At the end of last year, the number of absences was around.
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