Schools leader warns 'big risk' of imminent closures as staff shortages wreak havoc


Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told Sky News that the rising number of teacher shortages could also mean supply teachers are not given enough time to be drafted in to cover those off sick, forcing schools to shut.

Mr Barton explained how a primary issue is the notice period given to supply teachers to fill in for those COVID-19 sricken teachers forced to self-isolate.

He said: “The difficulty with the people I represent as school and college leaders is they won’t know until Tuesday morning, 8 o’clock…

“When they start to get phones calls as to how many staff have tested positive and therefore will not be coming into school.”

He added: “It is not like we have got lines around the block of supply teachers who can suddenly at the last minute step in and do that.”

He stressed how the issue of supply teachers “is the biggest risk… to us having no disruption”.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “absolutely determined” to keep schools open in January despite record numbers of COVID-19 infections over the Christmas period.

Most kids will be back at school by January 10.

In England a record 162,572 Covid cases were registered in the latest 24-hour period, Government figures show.

More to follow…


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