The headteacher of a Lichfield primary school has said she will not be rushed into reopening the school before it is safe to do so.

The Government has earmarked some pupils to return to classes from 1st June as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased.

It would mean Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children back at their desks with social distancing measures in place.

But in a letter to parents, Katie Stanley, headteacher of Charnwood Primary Academy, said plans still needed to be put in place before such a move could happen.

“In school we are currently looking at the guidelines given by the Department for Education and are looking at how we can implement this and ensure safety for your children and our staff.

“There are many decisions to be made and none of them will be taken lightly.

“We will not be rushed into operating something that won’t be safe enough for all involved.”

Katie Stanley, Charnwood Primary Academy

Mrs Stanley said measures such as staggered start and finish times, as well as children not mixing beyond their classes of no more than 15.

She also said home learning would change “as teachers cannot teach all day and be available to support home learning”.

The school will also close on Friday lunchtimes to all but the children of key workers to allow for deep cleaning and staff to plan teaching for the following week.

The headteacher added that she was aware that not all children would return to the classroom even if they are eligible too.

“We understand this is also a difficult decision to make as a parent and we respect whatever you decide.

“There will be no penalty if you choose for your child to stay at home.”

Katie Stanley, Charnwood Primary Academy

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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9 Comments

  1. Will not be rushed into reopening until safe, bet she still rushes down to the supermarket where staff work tirelessly to keep food on the nations tables, perhaps she (and the others who agree with her sentiment) should stay away from the supermarket to keep store staff safe!

  2. Whilst I fully understand the concerns of teachers in respect of their and children’s safety I would add the following:
    Other professionals eg nurses, doctors, social workers, paramedics, police have continued to put themselves on the front line as is their “duty”.
    Also bus drivers, shop assistants, care assistants and haulage contractors supplying food to us all.
    I have family members nursing on the front line, at no time have they baulked at doing the job they were trained to do.

  3. The news programmes are driving me mad with demands of guarantees and pedantic adherence for every coronavirus test and piece of PPE.
    We have to control the virus as best we can. Hope that medical science can give us a solution. Like all other infectious illnesses it might be that it has to be one of life’s risks. For children this seems to be less of a threat.
    The alternative is that you home school your children perminantly. Even this does not entirely give protection from infection, and introduces a whole new set of problems. Incidently I do have grandchildren to worry about. Their parents decisions can only be pragmatic ones.

  4. I am glad to see that the public are getting behind teachers as the new distraction. Lots of people are still working, lots of teachers are still working. Lots of children are still in school. People are working where it is absolutely necessary, and changes have been made to keep those people working as safely as possible. Teachers want to be working, teachers want to be teaching, teachers want to be safe, they want their families to be safe, they want their pupils to be safe. They do not want or need snide little comments about how they are letting the country down by failing to do their duty.

  5. France had much higher protective standards than UK is proposing. In one week over 50 schools closed again hit by virus cases.

  6. Punchy from Chris, but light on detail, similar to the 3-4+ articles from various anonymous teaching staff across Lichfield.

    Define ‘safe?’ Because, from what we’re told, there’s going to be no vaccine for quite some time. So what do teachers want? The public support may be there now, but it doesn’t take much and it’s already apparent on social media channels that the support is waning.

    I assume in this time you talk about ‘being safe’ at home, you want to be paid full wages and not on furlough like a significant portion of the country?

    You speak in broad terms, almost as if you know all teachers, so it would be interesting to know where you get your “lots of children are still in school,” because, anecdotally, speaking to parents in our village and Lichfield – there’s very few, and some headteachers have taken it upon themselves to expand the governments ruling, for example demanding that both parents be key workers, not just one.

    So no, I do not feel in the same ballpark as you, yes I want teachers to be safe, but safe has to be defined – it is far too broad a term to use as a measure for pupils to return. Trawler fishermen have one of the highest fatality rates in any industry, they have an entire department dedicated to improving safety within the shipping industry, accidents are rife, often fatal, yet fish they do, because their income is not guaranteed by public funds.

  7. When they’ve got track and trace in place is when schools should be considered for opening. And further unlocking elsewhere.
    But it isn’t ready yet.
    Presumably we can all go and pick spuds in the meantime. Brexit lovers get first pick lol.

  8. Things are bad enough without endless sniping and point scoring online. People are scared, confused, and trying to navigate life as best they can. Much like always. Be nice. It’ll make you happier.

  9. Anyone else get the feeling Darryl is sick of his kids?
    It seems to be those who had children without ever expecting to have to take responsibility for them that are doing the most complaining.

    There’s also an axe to grind here about not being considered a public hero because he’s not a key worker. Somehow a false equivalence between trawler fishermen and teachers is used to illustrate why our children are expected to be punted into harm’s way without the data or PPE to protect the families they live with so he can get on with his golfing and meeting his sales targets from the safety of the spare room. Unless you want to test the fish for covid-19, Darryl?

    Every opportunity to bash the very people you want to be looking after your children for you is jumped upon.

    Try changing your outlook and take Chris’s advice. You’ll feel better about yourself, hopefully.

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