AROUND threequarters of the county’s 313 primary schools in Staffordshire were expected to open to more pupils today (June 1), with nearly all primary schools expected to open in the next two weeks.
Social distancing, staggering the start and end of the school day, and reduced pupil numbers in classrooms are just some of the measures being put in place to help keep pupils and staff safe.
This is on top of well-established methods of containing the virus such as washing hands for 20 seconds, and following catch it, bin it, kill it when it comes to coughs and sneezes.
After being open throughout the pandemic to the children of key workers, primary schools in the county will now be open to children in nursery and reception (four year olds), Year 1 (five year olds) and Year 6 (11 year olds).
Staffordshire County Council has worked with schools to give them the support they need to open safely. This support includes advice and guidance on social distancing, as well as packs of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all schools.
County Councillor Philip White, cabinet member for Learning and Employability said: “Opening schools has to be a balancing act between ensuring pupils are not disadvantaged in their studies, and keeping the virus contained. This is why schools across Staffordshire have been working hard to determine how they can open to more pupils whilst maintaining social distancing. Arrangements will differ from school to school, but each school will have already informed parents of the measures they are putting in place.
“With the new Test and Trace system launched last week, there are now more measures in place to quickly deal with any issues if they occur.
“Schools haven’t been closed through this pandemic – many have been open to the children of key workers, and many more have been helping pupils continue their studies online. Most of our schools will be opening to certain year groups today, while others will open in the coming days as soon as they are confident they have the right measures in place to protect pupils and staff.
“We will continue to support all schools, and give them the advice and guidance needed to operate safely.”