S chools will be given more time to accommodate the phased return of pupils if necessary, according to Trafford Council.
Classrooms will reopen for specific year groups from next month although the vast majority of schools have remained open since the start of lockdown to vulnerable pupils and those of critical workers.
Children now set to return are nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6, along with year 10 and 12 pupils from secondary schools, sixth forms and further education colleges.
A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “The date of June 1 has been given as a date for the phased return of pupils and June 8 for those schools who have an additional week’s holiday.
“We are not expecting everything to be in place for these dates and have given our schools the option for at least another two days preparation after the holidays to help them adjust to the new guidance.
“If following their detailed planning and preparation, any school considers they need more time before they can take in more pupils safely, then we will support them in their decision making.
“Throughout this process we will be supporting all head teachers in making the right decision for their schools.
“We continue to work closely with schools and our colleagues at Public Health England (PHE) to make sure pupils can return in a safe and timely way at this point but reserve the right to keep our guidance under review.
“In the event of a case of Covid-19 in a teacher or child attending school, we would immediately consult with PHE to ascertain whether the school was safe to stay open and what steps need to be taken to reduce the risk of further infections.”
The council moved to clarify the situation after one of its leading executives had said a return a week on Monday was ‘premature.’
In a letter to emailed to parents yesterday, Jill McGregor, Trafford Council’s Corporate Director for Children’s Services, 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.”
The fact many schools are on a half-term break next week added to the confusion over the date pupils return.