The Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi, has outlined new measures and recommendations to help keep schools open for face-to-face learning throughout the 2022 Spring term.
In an open letter addressed to all education and childcare letters, Mr Zahawi reiterated that keeping face-to-face learning and childcare open was his ‘absolute priority’ in the face of the Omicron surge.
Mr Zahawi’s letter outlines a number of changes to the Department for Education’s strategy to maintain face-to-face learning, on top of the government’s existing emphasis on vaccination and twice-weekly lateral flow testing.
As a new layer of protection, 7,000 new air cleaning units will be rolled out to poorly-ventilated schools.
Senior leaders will not be required to undertake Ofsted inspections, and no inspections will take place during the first week of term.
Most signficantly, the DfE is now once again recommending that pupils in Year 7 and above should wear face coverings in classrooms. This measure will come under review on 26 January.
The Secretary of State also urged former teachers to return to the classroom in order to alleviate staff absences.
Let's keep education open
Protocol Education is committed to supporting face-to-face learning this term. Staff absences will pose a serious challenge to the day-to-day running of schools across the country over the next weeks.
After so much disruption to education these past two years, it is imperative that children can learn effectively in 2022. Your hard work could well be essential in making sure that schools near you can stay open.
That’s why we are asking all our registered educators to keep doing what you do so well. Please ensure that you regularly update your working diary to make schools aware of your availabilities. Keep following the latest guidance to keep yourself and your pupils safe. Above all, keep bringing your best to every lesson you teach.
Remember, if you ever need help, support or advice, the team at your local branch of Protocol Education are always more than happy for you to get in touch.
We hope that the situation will be very different by half-term. Until then, we wish you a successful start to 2022.