Most classrooms remain shut across borough despite government green light to reopen

Most classrooms remain shut across borough despite government green light to reopen

by Danielle Thompson (June 2020)

LESS than one in ten primary schools across the north-west reopened at the start of June, according to latest findings.

A survey carried out by the National Education Union (NEU) shows that while as many as half opened to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 in some other areas of the country on June 1, only 8% did in the north-west.

Scientists say the ‘R number is creeping up’ and is over one in the north-west, sparking fears that the coronavirus epidemic could take off again.

Many schools in the north-west will therefore delay reopening until later this month.

Some parents in Sefton have raised concerns about sending their children back to school and Liverpool city region metro mayor Steve Rotheram has questioned whether lockdown relaxation is being lifted too soon

NEU Regional Secretary Peter Middleman said: “We will continue to advocate for members, students, their families and the wider community in reviewing the situation up to June 15- when the Independent SAGE Group advise that the threat may halve – and beyond to the summer holidays if necessary.”

Responding to questions about schools in Sefton re-opening, a Sefton Council spokesperson said: “Since March 23, many schools in Sefton have remained open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. Teachers and support staff have ensured children have been supported during this challenging period. The commitment and hard work of teachers and support staff is a credit to Sefton.

“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will potentially also open for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from June 1, the Department for Education has provided advice for school leaders to support them with the next steps on the reopening of their schools which may start from June 1, however as a council we are suggesting this from June 15 to allow for time for appropriate risk assessment, including staff availability and to ensure tests set out by the Government and Trade Unions are met.

“Secondary schools, sixth forms, and further education colleges will begin some face to face support with Year 10 and Year 12 pupils, however they will not be returning to full time education at the present time.

“The priority of the council and school leaders is the safety of the children and the staff.”

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