Release date: 15/12/2020
NGA regrets the decision taken by the Secretary of State yesterday to issue a temporary continuity direction under the emergency Coronavirus Act 2020 ordering the London Borough of Greenwich to rescind its request to schools to close early and move to remote learning for the last few days of term, as a response to growing COVID-19 infection rates in the Borough.
Whilst we support maintaining continuity of education as a national priority, we view the threat of legal action at this challenging time, and in the context of rising local infection rates to be both disproportionate and insensitive.
At present the DfE’s policy-making process is slow to understand what is happening in different schools. We support those calling for more discretion given to school and trust leaders, so that the best options for continuing to educate pupils can be taken, whether that is in the school buildings, remotely or a planned combination of those methods.