Return to school

To date, our local schools have supported children’s learning at home and we have received many expressions of thanks for the extra mile and care that has been shown by headteachers and school staff.

Keeping in touch has been a focus for everyone and has helped to make sure children continue to feel part of a wider community.

Schools have been asked to plan that children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are the first groups who are prioritised to return from 1 June. This is in addition to the continued offer for the children of our critical workers and those who are more vulnerable, including some children and young people who have Education, Health and Care Plans.

We have been working with our school leaders to assess and plan how they might be able to do this in a graduated, structured way, which makes sure that the school environment is safe for children and school staff, allows for social distancing as much as this is possible with young children, ensuring adequate washing facilities are available and a regular cleaning programme can be implemented.

The model for reopening schools is likely to look different in each school because it will reflect the staff they have available who are fit to work, the nature of the school building and its wider site, the number of year groups they need to accommodate, and all of this will be informed by a detailed risk assessment. Headteachers are working with their staff teams to plan the details of this phased reopening and our advice has been to use a graduated approach across the first few weeks of June. Parents and carers will have received a letter from the Director of Children’s Services and the Director of Education informing them of this approach.

The final decision on whether to invite pupils back will rest with schools and academy trusts. This is an operational decision taken by school leaders including the governing board. Schools will communicate directly with parents and carers, keeping them informed of any changes to the current planning.

Further information from the government for parents and carers can be found here: What parents and carers need to know.