We are in for a ‘long, hard winter’ indeed
School leaders are warning of a ‘long, hard winter’ ahead as the fight against COVID-19 continues – and it is hard to disagree.
Indeed, as I write, it is difficult to feel positive about the seemingly inevitable second wave. We have only just begun this new term and yet the number of schools unable to fully open due to COVID-19 has jumped to 4% in the space of just one week (from the 10th of September to the 17th) (see page 154). At the time of writing, we only have 87% of children attending state schools.
Along with the clear impact this is having on the education of those children affected, the continuing large numbers of pupils missing school – the Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, estimated recently that one in 20 children (roughly 400 000) were out of school on any one day due to COVID-19-related reasons (BBC, 2020) – raises ongoing and serious safeguarding concerns.
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