28th Oct, 2020

More Solihull school pupils could return - but not all - says council leader

SOLIHULL is continuing to plan for potentially more school pupils – but not all – returning before the summer holidays, says the council leader.

The local authority and schools have now received further government guidance that it is for individual schools to make judgements about their safety capacity during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, he added.

Two year groups in secondary schools were allowed to return from this week.

But ministers last week had to abort their plans for more primary school years to return beyond reception, years one and six – who were allowed to return from June 1.

Heads, teachers’ unions and many parents had raised concerns about social distancing.

The council said last week that 4,500 pupils had returned across the borough.

Councillor Ian Courts said today: “It has been good to see more and more children back in our schools, I am also pleased to welcome the government’s decision to continue the free school meal voucher scheme throughout the summer holidays.

“We have been awaiting government guidance on the wider re-opening of schools to more year groups, which arrived this week. “The government has said that if schools have the space, the staffing capacity and all protective measures implemented, they may be able to open to further year groups in schools – this will, however, be down to each individual school’s risk assessment and capacity.

“This means some families may find that their children are invited back and others will not.

“Whilst I know this will be disappointing news for some of you, with the current guidance it is unfortunately inevitable this will be the case while current social distancing requirements remain in place.”

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