Dear Parents and Carers
Starting the Phased Re-opening of Schools
You will be aware from the news that the Government has announced the phased reopening for schools from 1 June 2020. In Sandwell, we have been looking at how this will be achieved and have worked with our schools and academies to agree a common approach. Schools have reviewed the requirements for social distancing, hygiene and cleaning required daily as well as organisational changes they may need to make to the school day to open.
June 1st is the start of a process for reopening and, initially, not all children will be able to start on a full-time basis. The number of children in a school at any one time will be dictated by the size of the classrooms and the availability of staff. To maintain social distancing normal sized classrooms can only hold 6 – 10 pupils at a time. If your child is in Secondary school then the Government has requested that only those in Year 10 and Year 12 are invited individually or in small groups to begin face to face meetings with staff to assist them with their learning. Each school or academy will devise a rota for children to attend and will contact you to tell you when this will be. In the main, all children will continue to do most of their work from home.
Primary schools have been asked by Government to open to a number of year groups, Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. However, due to the space available in each Primary school, it is not possible to accommodate all children from these year groups at the same time. Therefore, Primary schools will prioritise pupils in the following order:
- Vulnerable children
- Key Worker Children
- Year 1
- Year 6
Primary schools will inform you of the arrangements they are making and will let you know which days your children can attend school from 1 June. Children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will need to continue to remain at home until Government guidance changes.
Whilst the Government is encouraging families to take up the places offered by schools you can choose to keep your children at home and will not be penalised for doing so at this time. Schools will make every effort to keep children in a safe environment, following Government guidance; however, I need to be clear that schools cannot guarantee there will be no transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
We have included a frequently asked questions sheet with this letter to help you understand the position from 1 June. Schools will contact you shortly to inform you of their individual arrangements.
Director of Education, Skills and Employment