SAST statement on schools reopening
The government has announced plans to welcome back selected year groups of students into schools from the 1st June, at the earliest. In anticipation of phased re-openings, we have been working closely with headteachers and staff to look at how we can adapt school life to ensure it is as safe as possible.
We will be following government guidance, conducting risk assessments across all sites and looking at any new hygiene and cleaning measures that can be introduced. We are also working collaboratively with teaching unions to ensure the safety of our staff.
The return to school will look different with a range of arrangements. Not all schools or settings will be able to offer full time provision to the identified year groups given the guidance they have to follow around pupil numbers, safe working and also staff availability. There may be a phased approach to limit numbers on site at any one time, and we may need to stagger the school day to safeguard parents as well as students. All options are currently being discussed and each school will come up with a plan that best suits their locality. Flexibility will be key, and we appreciate the support of everyone involved when facing these challenges.
For any children that are shielding, we will of course continue to support their education remotely. We also have a number of staff that are shielding and they will continue to work from home, whilst being supported in school by colleagues.
Although schools are currently officially closed, we have been providing childcare for vulnerable children and children of key workers during this time, and we want to commend our staff for all the hard work they have continued to do during this time, both in school, and by providing engaging home learning activities over the last eight weeks.
We would like to reiterate that if anyone in your household is showing symptoms, the entire household must self-isolate and follow government guidelines. This will be especially important as schools begin to reopen. All of the government plans for schools are subject to change, should the infection rate increase and we will adapt our plans as necessary.
We would like to reassure everyone that as we move forward, our top priority is the welfare of our students and staff, and we will do everything we can to provide the safest school environments possible.