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Inspections paused to allow teachers to focus on keeping schools open

07 January 2022

Alamy

Owen Morrison, aged 15, receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine from Anthony McLaughlin, a student nurse, in a vaccination clinic held at the Glasgow Central Mosque on Monday. Second vaccinations, plus mask-wearing, have been advised in the UK to combat the spread of the virus in schools

Owen Morrison, aged 15, receives a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine from Anthony McLaughlin, a student nurse, in a vaccination clinic held at the Glas...

INSPECTIONS of church schools have been halted this month while the number of Covid cases remains high, to allow teachers to focus on keeping schools open, it was announced on Tuesday.

Inspections of the Christian nature of church schools will be “paused” until at least the end of January, the national Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) team has confirmed. The move comes as Ofsted, the schools inspectorate for England, announced that it would not inspect secondary schools or colleges in the first week of this term. In addition, schools affected by staff absences can request deferrals of inspection visits.

SIAMS inspections take place approximately every five years, in addition to Ofsted inspections. The Church of England’s chief education officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, said: “Our priority is for schools to be open and for children to be taught face to face for the sake of their mental health and well-being. . . This temporary suspension recognises the additional workload currently created by Covid-19.”

At the time of publication, guidance to churches on holding services was unchanged, in line with the Government’s decision this week not to increase restrictions, despite the surge in Omicron cases.

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