Covid-19 safety measures put in place as all students return to full-time education

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 10 September 2020

Chief executive Gavin Ball with students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.Picture: WLT

Chief executive Gavin Ball with students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.Picture: WLT

Archant

Schools in North Somerset have introduced a number of safety measures as they welcome all pupils back this week.

Students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.Students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.

Children who do not have key worker parents or guardians have faced up to six months of home schooling since the coronavirus outbreak, after the country was placed into lockdown in March.

A survey by school leaders union the National Association of Head Teachers suggests 97 per cent of schools are welcoming back all pupils full-time in the UK, and North Somerset Council said people ‘have to work together to support students’ learning’.

The authority’s executive member for children’s services, Catherine Gibbons, said: “We were asked if we feel confident to send children back to school on the council’s Facebook live event on Thursday, and we absolutely do.

“Our schools have worked incredibility hard over the summer, and people are happy to send their children back to school. Recent studies have shown the balance has tipped, and keeping young people away from school is a greater risk than posed by the virus.

Students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.Students from Kings of Wessex Academy picking up their results.

“We really have to all work together so they don’t miss out anymore. It’s not just the lessons, it’s the interaction and making new friendship groups, which you cannot do online.

“Parents should feel confident the council knows how to act to keep people safe and reassured. If anyone has any concerns, please contact your child’s school.”

The Wessex Learning Trust, which oversees 13 schools in the Cheddar Valley, said: “We are excited to have all our wonderful children on site again after six difficult months, and to provide them with the support, education, and normality they need.

“Every school under the trust has completed its own bespoke risk assessment to highlight and mitigate against the risks of Covid-19 to keep children and staff safe, which broadly includes measures such as staggered pick up and drop off times, hand washing and sanitising on arrival and throughout the day, year group bubbles and enhanced cleaning of all our sites and equipment, particularly in high contact areas.

“Every school has isolation rooms to keep students’ presenting symptoms of coronavirus away from others until they can be collected.

“We will continue to monitor and evaluate procedures so we can maintain a safe environment to provide an exceptional education to our children.”


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