Covid-19 safety measures are put in place as all students return to full-time education
PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 10 September 2020
Schools in North Somerset have introduced a number of safety measures as they welcome all pupils back this week.
Children who do not have key worker parents or guardians have faced up to six months of home schooling since the coronavirus outbreak, after the country was placed into lockdown in March.
A survey by school leaders union the National Association of Head Teachers suggests 97 per cent of schools are welcoming back all pupils full-time in the UK, and North Somerset Council said people ‘have to work together to support students’ learning’.
The authority’s executive member for children’s services, Catherine Gibbons, said: “We were asked if we feel confident to send children back to school on the council’s Facebook live event on Thursday, and we absolutely do.
“Our schools have worked incredibility hard over the summer, and people are happy to send their children back to school. Recent studies have shown the balance has tipped, and keeping young people away from school is a greater risk than posed by the virus.
“We really have to all work together so they don’t miss out anymore. It’s not just the lessons, it’s the interaction and making new friendship groups, which you cannot do online.
“Parents should feel confident the council knows how to act to keep people safe and reassured. If anyone has any concerns, please contact your child’s school.”
Headteacher at Clevedon School, Jim Smith, said the education provider is ‘adopting new measures’ to keep pupils safe.
Mr Smith said: “We welcome students back to Clevedon School with a special welcome for those in year seven or other year groups who are new to the school.
“Like many schools, we are adopting measures such as year group bubbling, one-way systems, hand sanitizer in every room and a revised two-week timetable, which is all aimed at reducing the risk and to provide assurances around Covid-19 security.”
Mr Smith said the school is ‘very used’ to being open, as it has been to children of key workers in lockdown, and it will be flexible to changes to government guidance.
He added: “There are many unknowns educationally in the next 12 months, so every student must seize each opportunity that a day in school brings.”
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