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Layoffs and bankrupt schools: headteachers in England warn of Covid consequences

The extra costs of keeping children safe must be paid by the government, say unions. Plus: one school opens its books to show the extent of the proble

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The extra costs of keeping children safe must be paid by the government, say unions. Plus: one school opens its books to show the extent of the problem

Covid-19’s legacy on education in England will be thousands of schools going broke, staff laid off and bigger class sizes unless the government steps in to help, say the two headteacher associations, as they count the cost of keeping classrooms safe.

In one small education area alone, Stockport, in north-west England, more than half of schools fear their budgets will be in deficit this year, says the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). Across England, many schools have used up their year’s allowance for cover staff in just half a term because of the number of teachers and classroom assistants having to isolate at home. One secondary school (see profile below) has produced accounts anonymously showing a spend of £339,000 since April 2020 on cover and keeping its premises safe.

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