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A Lichfield primary school has outlined details of how it will begin to bring pupils back into the classroom – but said parents will need to decide whether to let their children return.
Only pupils of key workers have been attending schools across the country since the Government introduced coronavirus lockdown measures in March.
But Boris Johnson has now outlined a desire to get some pupils back from the start of June.
It means that primary school children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 could return to class in a matter of weeks.
Deirdre McLeary, head of St Joseph’s RC Primary School on Cherry Orchard, has told parents how the return was likely to work.
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“Initially schools have been asked to open for pupils in pre-school, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, with the possibility of opening for other pupils before the summer.
“Children of key workers who are not in those years along with vulnerable pupils will all still be able to attend school.
“In line with Government advice, classes will be much smaller with no more than 15 pupils.
“These pupils will remain together as a group and social distancing will be encouraged, although it has been acknowledged that our very youngest pupils will not always be able to remain two metres from adults or each other.
“In order to accommodate these smaller class sizes, children may be in different classrooms and may have a different teacher.
“In addition, we will have a staggered start and end to the day to ensure social distancing for parents, along with a one-way system around school.”Deirdre McLeary, St Joseph’s RC Primary School
“Arrangements for home learning may also need to be adapted”
Despite outlining the plans to accommodate a return to class, Mrs McLeary warned that any change to official advice could see the plans scrapped.
“The opening will only go ahead if the Government considers it safe.
“There are many practical arrangements to be considered that concern the safety of our children, staff and parents.
“These include staffing and pupil numbers, classrooms available, outdoor spaces, break times, length of school day and many other aspects.
“Arrangements for home learning may also need to be adapted due to the number of staff required in school.
“School will remain closed for pupils in Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5, even if they have a sibling in one of the returning year groups.”Deirdre McLeary, St Joseph’s RC Primary School
“A decision that parents will need to make themselves”
There is still uncertainty around whether parents will send children back to schools even when the gates reopen.
And the headteacher said it would be a decision that people will have to make for themselves.
“Whilst we expect the vast majority to attend, we also know that some parents will remain anxious about this potential return.
“It is also totally understood that parents will have differing points of view about what is the best course of action at this difficult time.
“This is a decision that parents will need to make themselves as every family will have their own unique circumstances.
“Can I reassure you that the Government has given assurances that parents will not be fined for non-attendance of children at school during this time.”