A message from Councillor Diane White on the return to schools
As we get ready for the new school year, Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children's Services including Education, thanks families for their resilience and wishes pupils a safe return.
As we near the end of the Summer break, many families across the borough will be starting to prepare for school return. Earlier this month we celebrated the success of Kingston’s students, when thousands received their A-Level and GCSE results. I was immensely proud of them for the patience, resilience and determination they have shown in the most difficult of years.
As we get ready for the start of this new school year, I would like to reassure you that we are working closely with our schools to support them in welcoming back pupils as safely as possible. The government has outlined steps that need to be taken to ensure that all of our pupils and teachers are safe - at a time when our highest Covid rates in Kingston continue to be amongst older secondary pupils.
All secondary school pupils will take two lateral flow tests on site in the week of their return, and all primary and secondary school families are strongly encouraged to continue to take regular, twice-weekly tests throughout the first month of term at least. This will help protect not only the pupils themselves, but also their friends, families, and hugely dedicated school staff. So as you’re sorting out school uniforms and buying school shoes, don’t forget to pick up your free lateral flow test kits too - you can find out where to get them at www.kingston.gov.uk/rapidtesting
Finally, for those who can, walking or cycling to school has a well-known positive impact on the health and wellbeing of children. Not only does it increase exercise and fitness levels, it also benefits the environment by reducing the amount of cars on the road and the air pollution that they cause. Using more sustainable ways of getting around our beautiful borough is one of the many ways we can make an individual difference and help to tackle climate change.
Thank you to all of our schools and their incredible staff for all of their hard work in preparing for the new year. Welcome back!