STAFF at Lancashire's schools have been praised for the 'magnificent job' they have been doing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The majority of schools have stayed open to accept vulnerable pupils and those of key workers, with thousands of children attending each day. All schools have also maintained close contact with parents and pupils, with children also learning from home.
The Government's aspiration is to have primary schools accepting pupils from 1 June in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, with a goal of having all primary school children back in classes for a month before the summer break. But the decision on whether to accept more pupils will rest with head teachers, in consultation with their governors, as they are best-placed to decide on whether it is safe for them to do so. Lancashire County Council will support the decisions made by schools. If a school does agree to accept more pupils, parents will not be fined by the council if they decide not to send their children.
Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "Our schools have been doing a magnificent job throughout the lockdown period.
"We have been having productive and detailed discussions with our schools and the teaching unions. Lancashire is a large and diverse county and the decision about how many pupils it is safe to have in a school depends on context and geography and is therefore one for individual head teachers, in consultation with their governing body.
"They are best-placed to understand the safety, welfare and education of their pupils, and we will continue to support the decisions they make
"We realise that our parents will be looking for guidance from their child's school and that this is the most important relationship. We are aware that schools have been working closely with their parents. Parents will of course choose whether or not to send their children back to school and they will be supported in this decision by the council. The council will not be fining parents or using other enforcement if they choose not to send their children back to school."