24th Jun, 2021

Some Solihull schools 'not ready' to welcome back children from coronavirus stay-at-home measures

John Carlon 19th May, 2020

THE RETURN of pupils to schools in Solihull could be delayed beyond the government’s timetable, the borough council has suggested.

Some schools are not ready to admit their students from ministers’ planned date of June 1.

Instead, primary schools in the borough could only reopen from June 8 at the earliest, the council said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Solihull Council said: “Schools in Solihull are currently undertaking detailed risk assessments and putting in place a range of protective measures so that they are ready to welcome back more pupils.

“The council has been clear from the outset that the safety of schools for pupils, their families and the workforce is its number one priority. Only when we are convinced that schools are ready and safe would it support wider opening for more pupils.

“This is a collaborative approach which has been developed across Solihull schools, Solihull Council including public health and in consultation with trade unions.

“The government has set an ambition for more pupils to begin to return to school from June 1, however the council anticipates that many schools will need to use the first week in June to ensure they are completely ready for more pupils to attend. This may mean that some schools may not be able to offer additional places until the week beginning 8 June.

“The order of priority for welcoming more pupils back to school outlined by the government is children of key workers and pupils who already qualify for a place under current government guidance, nursery aged pupils, reception aged pupils, pupils in year 1 and year 6.

“At present, there are no confirmed plans for when or how secondary pupils (and in particular those currently in years 10 and 12) will return to school.

“Special schools are being asked to follow the same protective measures as mainstream schools but are not being asked to prioritise particular year groups. The government has been clear that pupils who are shielded due to their medical vulnerability or who are at particular clinical risk, or who live in a household with someone who is shielded or otherwise clinically at risk, should remain at home whether they are in mainstream or special schools.

“Schools will only invite pupils back once the protective measures outlined by the government have been put in place. This means that places in schools will vary across the borough at different times. Schools will be contacting parents in the year groups mentioned in the government guidance once they have completed their risk assessments, to explain when children will be invited back into school.

“The council hopes that parents will then be confident that all safety measures are in place, but will not be taking any enforcement action against parents who decide to keep their children at home.”

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