Readers discuss plans to reopen North Somerset schools

PUBLISHED: 11:00 31 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 31 May 2020

The Government is keen for reception, year one and year six pupils to return to school in June along with nursery and preschool children.

The Government is keen for reception, year one and year six pupils to return to school in June along with nursery and preschool children.


Readers discussed initial Government plans for schools to reopen in England from Monday, following remarks from a Weston headteacher that schools in the town would reopen when ‘it is safe for all.’

The prime minister announced primary schools could reopen to some year groups from June 1, beginning with nurseries and preschools, reception, year one and year six, if infection rates and the government’s other tests allow.

Evidence so far suggests children are less vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus, but experts are unsure how significant a role they play in transmitting it.

Education leaders across North Somerset have been working with staff to ensure schools can reopen safely. But with the coronavirus outbreak at Weston hospital it now appears as if they are looking at June 8 as the re-opening date.

Adam Matthews, chief executive of the Extend Learning Academies Network (ELAN), said: “As with everything we do, children’s wellbeing is the heart of everything and staff safety a priority.

“In order to reopen, school has to be safe for pupils and teachers. We are currently working with our staff and schools to ensure this is the case.”

The DfE guidance suggests classes will be split into groups of no more than 15 and those pupils will be in their own ‘bubble’ with a designated member of staff.

Many took to social media to share their views.

Pamela Pollett said: “As a retired Reception and Infant teacher I feel that it would have been much better for the Government to have chosen older children to go back to school as they would be able to cope better with social distancing.

“Young children need to play and socialise and have their school environment as they knew it for their emotional security.”

Scott Thompson commented: “The Country needs to get back to normal as much as possible. Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere fast.

“Abide by the social distancing regulations, practice proper hygiene and get back to work and school. If you don’t there won’t be anything left to go back to and we will be paying for this for generations.”

Lynda Baillie added: “My children have been at school the whole time. I’m sure the teachers and staff will carry on doing a great job and would have had training of some sort on social distancing. Kids need an education and some sort of normality.”

Chris Sweet said: “No, France have had over 70 cases in children and have since closed schools again, all shortly after opening. Does this not tell you anything?”

Sara Mitchell added: “Mine will not be going back, my daughter has health issues and her health is way more important than her education, they can catch up on their education.”

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