Dear Parents and Carers
Over the last few weeks since the government announced its aspirations around extending the opening of schools, we have been working with schools to ensure they are structured to reflect the safety advice within local and government guidance documents. Understanding that schools have different requirements, we have been supporting them to put local plans in place as they move towards bringing more children back into school, over time.
You will have seen the publicity around the changes to the R rate in the North West, since this was announced last Friday. Our approach to risk assessment and planning has not been based on local R values but rather taking into account a consideration of a number of local factors in order to shape local decisions. Yesterday, we advised schools that they should consider delaying reopening until Monday 15th June, in order that they had time to consider whether they needed to review their risk assessments ahead of reopening.
Schools will be acting on this advice and applying their professional judgement to their individual setting and will be liaising with you directly. This means that the arrangements in different schools may look very different because of their individual context. Whether the school feels assured of their ability to re-open prior to 15th June or they require more time, we will give them our full support.
Decisions are being made purely to support the safest return for your children to protect them and our staff. As you will know, the response to Covid is changing frequently and having the safety and welfare of all children at the centre of these decisions is critical, at all times. This means that current plans may need to change and these changes may need to happen quickly if circumstances or further guidance require it. It will therefore, be important that schools continue to keep their plans under review on an ongoing basis.
Please be reassured, that we are continuing to do everything we can to enable our children to return to schools as quickly as possible.
We fully appreciate that needing to change and alter plans can be disruptive for you and especially for our children and I would wish to thank for your patience and understanding at this current time.
I hope this clarifies the position for you.
Corporate Director, Children’s Services