Comment: DfE guidance on full opening of schools

Commenting on the Department for Education’s guidance on a full opening of schools, Charlotte Ramsden, ADCS Vice President, said:

“ADCS supports the governments ambition to get all pupils back to school in September. Over the next week many schools will be closing for the summer holidays but there are still issues which need to be ironed out to support a full return to school in the autumn. This includes issues around home to school transport and maintaining and managing bubbles in school settings. Complexities such as an aged school estate with smaller spaces within which to operate, delivering a broad and balanced curriculum which will require staff to move between bubbles especially in secondary schools, management of specialist support, extra-curricular provision and use of supply staff are exercising the minds of school leaders as they prepare. There is much more work to do locally, regionally and nationally to reassure parents, carers, children and staff and we are doing our utmost to support this work.

“Local authorities have a statutory duty to transport learners to and from school where they have special educational needs or disabilities or live too far from school to reasonably, or safely, walk, and we are working hard to ensure that we can fulfil our responsibilities, while aligning as far as possible with the system of controls outlined. The Department for Education’s guidance states that social distancing and ‘one metre plus’ rules will not apply on home to school transport. However, the guidance does recognise the additional pressure social distancing rules will place on the capacity of public transport services which might mean it is necessary for local authorities to provide additional school transport services to enable pupils to get to school. This will have cost and capacity implications for local authorities, and we continue to raise these issues with the Department for Education.”


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