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Back to school

06 September 2021

An exciting return to a more normal school experience is what thousands of children and young people can expect when the majority of schools welcome back their students from today (Monday 6 September).

Norfolk’s 422 schools have put in place a range of sensible precautions to mitigate and manage Covid which, together with continued twice-weekly testing for everyone aged 11 and over, will make the return to school as safe as possible for children, teachers, and families.

Cllr Daniel Elmer, deputy cabinet member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Norfolk’s schools and academies are excited to welcome back their children. 

“We are anticipating that most children will be returning to a new school year which offers them much more of a normal experience with the resumption for many of after school clubs, music lessons, competitive sport, and mixing more freely with other children.

“As we all find ways to live with Covid, we must strike the right balance, taking sensible precautions so that children can continue with their lives and their education.

“We are supporting school leaders, who are working hard to find the best solutions to fit their particular schools to keep everyone as safe as possible, while providing an enjoyable and rounded experience of school.” 

Sarah Shirras, Co-chair of Educate Norfolk and headteacher of St William’s Primary School, said: “As every September, we have been really looking forward to school reopening this week. 

“It’s felt like a long summer for many of our families with grey skies above and we know many children are really keen to return to the buzz of school, being with their new teachers in their new classrooms and learning and laughing together again. 

“We are all stepping slightly in to the unknown as we have done so many times in the last 18 months, but our staff, children and their families have done a great job at dealing with these unknowns. We are looking forward to a successful and happy new school year.”

Norfolk County Council has been providing support and advice to schools throughout the pandemic and continues to be in regular touch with all schools and academies offering advice and supporting on a range of issues including testing, isolation, contact tracing, management of cases, and interactions with our Norfolk Outbreak Management Centre and Norfolk Public Health.

Secondary schools and colleges have made preparations for testing students ahead of the return to help reduce transmission and some will be staggering the return of students to manage this. Anyone requiring further information about this should contact their school directly.

Information for parents is available on the Norfolk County Council website at www.norfolk.gov.uk/backtoschool and additional advice from the Government is available at www.gov.uk/backtoschool

Parents can find further information about testing and the easiest way to access test kits at www.norfolk.gov.uk/covidtesting. Click on ‘Testing for people without symptoms’ to find the best way to get kits. Reporting results can be done quickly and easily online by visiting www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. Test results can also be reported by calling the phone number in the test kit’s instructions. 

Any parents and carers with concerns about your child returning to school should contact your school in the first instance. They will be happy to discuss any concerns and provide additional reassurance on the measures being put in place to reduce any risks. There’s lots of information to support young people’s well-being on the Just One Norfolk website.

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