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Council thanks schools, colleges and early years providers for their huge efforts in planning for children’s return

29 May 2020

Norfolk County Council has today thanked those working across education for the huge efforts they have made to support more children to return to schools and nurseries from next week.

From 1 June, the government has said that children in nursery, reception and years one and six can begin to return to their classrooms, with those in years 10 and 12 expected to be able to return for some face to face time with teachers later this month.

In Norfolk, the decision on when and how to open to more children is being made by headteachers and principals, who know their schools and communities best. Norfolk County Council has been providing advice and support, including visiting some schools to look at the measures that they have put in place to help reduce the spread of any infection.

About half of primary schools are likely to open to more children on Monday, with the numbers increasing each day throughout the week. The majority of schools will be open to children in the designated year groups by 8 June.

Schools will continue to provide places for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, as well as supporting home learning for their other pupils.

Cllr John Fisher, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Headteachers, principals and their staff have been working day and night over the last few weeks to plan for more children to return to school.

“They have adapted their classrooms, introduced new drop off and start times, organised small class groups and planned for new timetables, at the same time as looking after vulnerable and key worker children and providing home learning.  This has been a logistical challenge for schools, early years providers and colleges and I want to thank them for the dedication they’ve shown to their children and their communities.

“None of us want children to miss out on their education and I am keen that we do all we can to get children back to school in a safe way. This is a team effort between schools, parents and the council – we need to all work together to help prevent the spread of any infection.  Each school or nursery will only welcome more children back when they are satisfied that they can keep them and their staff as safe as possible and we will continue to provide as much support as we can.”

The Department for Education has asked schools to keep children in small groups of up to 15 so that any potential outbreaks of coronavirus can be contained.

Parents are asked not to send their children to school unless they have heard that they have a confirmed place. If their child, or anyone in their family shows signs of infection, they should stay home and isolate, in line with NHS advice.

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)


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