Photos Paddy Dowling/EAA
Mr Williamson thanked school staff for their work during the pandemic before concluding: “If a child is not in school, they stand to lose far more than just a few months of learning. It could well put a huge dent in their future life-chances. Education is a birthright, so let’s make sure we get all children back – back to learning, back to playing and back to being kids again.”
However, Labour shadow education secretary Kate Green said the government had “repeatedly failed to show the leadership that children, their families and their teachers deserve”.
“School leaders have been asking all summer for information about what they should do in the event of local restrictions in their area,” she added. “The government’s incompetence is insulting to the school leaders and teachers who have worked so hard over summer to prepare schools for children to return.”
Additional reporting by Press Association
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