P rimary schools in Sale have delayed the return of some pupils by more than a week after Trafford Council described a possible return a week on Monday as ‘premature.’
The government had stated that schools could potentially open to specific year groups – nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 – on June 1.
However, Trafford Council still has concerns over the safety of children and staff in classrooms amid an easing of lockdown restrictions. Its reservations are outlined in a letter sent out to parents and carers yesterday.
The local authority has therefore decided to push back the return until Wednesday, June 10, with schools using the two previous days to plan and train for the return of pupils.
Some primary schools would still be on a half -term holiday anyway in the first week in June but they are open throughout on a streamlined basis for pupils of key workers.
Trafford said secondary schools, sixth forms and further education colleges will begin some face-to-face support with year 10 and year 12 pupils from June 1.
Parents will have the choice whether to send children back and will not be fined for non-attendance.
Schools have remained open to children of key workers and vulnerable children since lockdown was introduced on March 23.
The update was issued by Jill McGregor, Corporate Director for Children’s Services at Trafford Council.
With regard to primary schools, she said: “We believe that June 1 is premature and we will continue to be guided by the science as everyone’s safety, health and well-being is of the utmost importance.
“Although schools will continue to remain open for children or critical workers and vulnerable children in all year groups, some of you will rightly remain concerned about the safety of your children and your families if your children do return to school.
“Therefore, we will enable schools where possible to reopen on June 8 following the half term break and have a further two days to plan, prepare and train their staff to in advance of children attending on June 10.
“It has been agreed that secondary schools will return on June 1 as their half term if typically shorter and that they too adopt the option to take a further two days to plan and prepare staff if necessary.
“Schools will need to determine the demand for places and you should inform your head teacher of your intentions as schools may not be able to guarantee a place and operate safely. Parental choice is key and you should make the decision that is right for you and your family.
“Trafford Council is actively supporting all schools and their leaders in working through the very complex planning that this requires. We would want to assure you that everyone’s health and safety is of paramount consideration and that all school leaders are committed to this as well as continuing to support our children’s learning and education.”
Schools will make timetable changes, stagger breaks and lunchtimes, and drop off and collection times to reduce mixing. Head teachers will share specific details once they are worked out.