Staffordshire reacts to schools September return news

EDUCATION leaders in Staffordshire have welcomed news that all pupils are to return to schools and colleges in September.

Under guidance announced by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, it will be mandatory for pupils of all ages to return to school and colleges in September.

Children will be kept in larger, separate ‘bubbles’ to prevent the spread of Covid-19. There will still be an emphasis on hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning arrangements, and an active engagement with NHS Test and Trace.

If a school has two or more confirmed cases of Covid-19 within 14 days, they will need to work with their local health protection team, who may advise that a large number of pupils self-isolate, or even a whole year group in some scenarios.

Leader of Staffordshire County Council Philip Atkins said:

“Our schools have been working incredibly hard to implement the social distancing and hygiene measures needed to keep pupils and staff safe. Around 99% of schools in Staffordshire are open currently, and it will be great to see more children back at school in September.

“Of course, this announcement means there will still be a lot of work for schools do to, especially over the summer holidays, but they will have the full backing of the county council. We are here to help them as much as possible, whether that’s giving health and safety advice to help them accommodate more pupils, holding training sessions to give advice and guidance to headteachers, right through to dealing with a potential outbreak in a school.

“The best way of controlling the virus is by continuing to social distance, thoroughly washing hands with soap and water, and staying away if you are suffering any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19. We all need to do everything we can to keep schools open.”


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