Following the Government’s announcement yesterday that all pupils will return to school at the beginning of the Autumn term, and the earlier announcement of an extended catch-up plan for England’s schools during the summer, a recruitment trade body has highlighted the lack of resource planning and collaboration with supply teacher agencies.
Tania Bowers, Head of Public Affairs at The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) says that despite yesterday’s detailed guidance there has been no clarification of how the extended summer catch up programme is going to work and who is going to deliver the programme.
“Our members have many supply teachers on furlough ready and willing to work – they can be part of the solution but no-one, thus far has spoken to the education recruitment sector – it’s a major resource that the Government has simply overlooked both for the catch up programme and the planned September return.”
Katie Rees, Chair of APSCo’s Education Sector Group and Managing Director of Smile Education agrees:
“We don’t how the catchup and tutoring programmes are going to work, how they are going to be resourced, whether it will take place remotely and how the investment for this is going to be allocated. In terms of the return to school in September, I feel desperately sorry for Head Teachers who have a major resource planning headache on their hands. The senior leadership teams in schools have had a really tough time and now have a major logisitics headache to contend with in terms of getting schools ready in just eight weeks. According to the guidance, they will have to revisit and update all of their risk assessments, implement ‘sensible and proportionate’ control measures and also juggle staggered start, finish and break times. As a sector we have the ability to help schools fill the gap to get attainment levels back up to scratch and we have people ready and available to work – we can be part of the solution but only if Government includes us in the planning process. We really need some joined up thinking on this so that our children get the education they need – and deserve.”
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