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Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman calls on education bosses to be more 'optimistic' about schools reopening

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 11/06/2020 ANNA DAVIS
Catherine O'Hara et al. sitting at a table © Provided by Evening Standard

Schools should take a more “optimistic” approach to reopening and focus on what they can do rather than what is not possible, the head of Ofsted said today.

Chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman said teachers should take confidence from medical evidence which suggests that the risk to children from coronavirus is “very low indeed”.

She told Radio 4: “Fundamentally we need to approach it in the spirit of what is the most education we can provide within the constraints.”

Ms Spielman called for the education world to use its “entrepreneurial energy”, and said: “I would like to hear a much more optimistic approach, it should be about what we can do, not what we can’t do. Many schools are already showing within the public health guidance that sets the expectation for the bubbles of 15 children there is a great deal that can be done.


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“All children have lost something and for a few it’s really worrying that contact with them has been lost.”

But she admitted she has not yet seen any plans for summer catch-up schools to help children who have missed out on lessons.

She spoke as a teaching union said children should be taught in libraries, sports halls, civic centres and churches to allow for social distancing during the pandemic.

The National Education Union today published its plan which calls for greater numbers of children to be educated in non-school buildings.

It wants summer holiday clubs to be set up to and free school meals to be extended into the summer holidays.

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