Thanks and reassurance as Northumberland pupils return to school

A majority of Northumberland primary schools are welcoming back additional pupils this week.

Monday, 1st June 2020, 5:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 1:15 pm
File picture from PA

June 1 was the day that the Government set for schools to start to welcome back children who had been learning at home, beginning with Year 6, Year 1 and Reception.

A total of 86 schools in Northumberland are planning to be open for some or all of the identified year groups this week, with the remaining 60 schools planning to open by Monday, June 15.

Northumberland County Council has offered assurances that pupils will be returning only when safety measures are in place and the authority is working with headteachers to support them in the implementation of these measures, based on their risk assessments and in line with Government guidance.

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Cath McEvoy-Carr, the council’s executive director of children’s services, said: “We know this is a worrying time for everyone and parents may be concerned about their children returning to school.

“I want to stress, keeping pupils and staff safe in schools is our top priority and we will do everything we can to support children and their families.

“Parents should stay in touch with their child’s school for the latest information on opening arrangements.”

Coun Wayne Daley, the cabinet member for children’s services, added: “Currently the Department for Education (DfE) has prioritised Year 6, and Year 1 and Reception, in order to minimise the number of children in schools.

“In some Northumberland schools, Year 4 and Year 8 are also a key transition years and we have been working with colleagues in the DfE to ensure that, as soon as national Government guidance allows, those children can also return to enjoy time with their friends and teachers, making their transition as smooth as it can be in these uncertain times.”

Since schools were directed to close, up to 143 schools and alternative provider settings have been opening their doors to support children of key workers and vulnerable students.

“I can’t thank schools across Northumberland enough for the hard work and dedication they have shown in recent months,” Coun Daley added.

“They continue to get the job done in very difficult circumstances and have shown absolute commitment to supporting parents and children every day.”

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