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As Children’s Commissioner, children’s safety is of course paramount. On that basis, it is right that everything is done to make sure schools are safe places for children to learn and play. 

After years of disruption for children and young people, what they need most is stability and getting back to normal. We must learn lessons from the pandemic, and we need to see proper communication to children and families affected by this guidance.  

There also needs to be clear direction as to where children should go at the start of the new term and reassure them that places are safe and suitable. An assessment must be made of other settings where children are, and guidance provided as soon as possible. 

Everything must now be done to ensure the impact on children’s learning is minimised. And it is particularly important that everyone working with children prioritises those who are vulnerable and those with additional needs.

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