Comment: Phased return to schools
Jenny Coles, ADCS President, said:
“Following the government’s announcement that schools can start to admit more pupils from some year groups from 1 June at the earliest, schools and local authorities have been working towards this and continue to explore how this will work in practice so that pupils and staff can return safely. Every school is different and will need to carefully consider a number of things before they can be confident it’s safe for staff and pupils to return, for example their building lay out, the availability of outside space, pupil numbers, availability of staff and transport arrangements, therefore, we understand why arrangements will differ. As part of this process local areas will be undertaking detailed risk assessments as well as considering any variations in local and regional rates of infection and concerns from unions who are representing school staff. Local authorities and schools recognise the importance of reopening schools to pupils who are facing months of lost learning and socialisation as soon as they can, where schools are not opening to an extended number of pupils on 1 June, this will be because there are still details to work through before it is safe to do so. As an Association we recognise that where local authorities and schools feel unable to meet the government’s ambition for an extended reopening these difficult decisions are being made in the best interests of children and the staff who work with them.
“Schools remain open for vulnerable children and children of key workers and have done a great job of supporting them, and also delivering learning online for children who aren’t able to attend – for this we want to say thank you.”
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