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Responding to the announcement by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi on new air cleaning units for schools, Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary said:

“Whilst the measures announced by the Education Secretary today provide welcome assurance to schools and parents, the Government should also go further to minimise disruption to pupils’ education throughout the remainder of the academic year.

“The Government’s commitment to roll out air cleaning units to schools is welcome, but it needs to be more ambitious. Today’s commitment will see these units installed in a minority of classrooms and schools.

“It is disappointing that Ministers have not done more to extend the programme of onsite testing in schools, which is proven to be a highly effective strategy to increase take-up of tests and in helping to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in schools.

“The availability of teachers and support staff is also a key pressure point for schools this term as the number of Covid cases continue to increase. We still need to see a credible and funded plan from the government that will deliver immediate support and flexibility for those schools experiencing teacher shortages at the very start of term.

“Action by the Government is also needed to end the fundamentally broken supply agency market which is failing schools and contributing to thousands of supply teachers prematurely leaving the profession.”



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