Education bosses say measures being taken in schools across Lichfield and Burntwood “should reassure” parents of children due to start returning after the coronavirus closure.
The Government’s plans will see pupils in some year groups back in the classroom from 1st June.
Under the proposals, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 students will return once schools feel it is safe to do so.
In a letter sent to parents, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for learning, Cllr Philip White, and deputy chief executive Helen Riley, said that while it was not compulsory for children to return, families should ensure education is continuing at home if they choose not to send youngsters back.
“We recognise that many parents are anxious and concerned in the current climate.
“However, we believe the measures that headteachers and staff are taking should reassure and encourage parents and carers to send their children to school if they have been invited to return.
“It is not compulsory for a parent or carer to send their child back at the present time and there will be no fines for parents who decide not to.
“It is, however, important that any children not returning to school continues to complete home learning activities to minimise the impact on their education due to not being in school.”Letter from Cllr Philip White and Helen Riley to parents
“We trust schools to make the right decision for pupils”
The final decision on when and how to reopen is being left to individual schools.
“With an education landscape as large and varied as Staffordshire’s, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes our schools.
“They are autonomous and we trust them to make the right decision for their school and pupils.
“Every school is different, so this means arrangements will differ from school to school.
“Each school and academy will inform their parents and carers of their individual arrangements.
“This will include which year groups they can safely accommodate, how many pupils per classroom, and what social distancing measures will be in place, and how to stagger the start and end of the school day.
“Staffordshire’s health, safety and wellbeing team are providing advice and guidance to schools to support their planning.”Letter from Cllr Philip White and Helen Riley to parents
The education chiefs said the situation was likely to evolve in the coming weeks as children return to classes and more advice is given.
“There will be further Government announcements this month on its plans for schools and wider recovery arrangements.
“This may mean that schools do have to change arrangements at short notice, but they will be sure to keep parents and carers informed.”Letter from Cllr Philip White and Helen Riley to parents