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Bucks schools prepare for children to return

Teachers across Bucks have made “superhuman efforts” to make sure children can start going back to school next week.

Published by Mix96 News with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Oliver Sirrell at 8:00am 31st May 2020. 3-minute read.

Bucks schools prepare for children to return

Primary schools across the country can begin welcoming nursery and pre-school age children, plus reception, year one and year six pupils back to classrooms from Monday, June 1.

The government has advised lessons can start again from this date but it is not compulsory for schools to re-admit their pupils or for parents to send their children back.

At a meeting of the council’s top team, councillor Anita Cranmer gave an update on how schools across the county are preparing to welcome children back.

She said:

“Our schools have been marvellous throughout this time. Many of the staff have worked continuously throughout.

“We’re now at the point where we have to go back.

“It is not a legal obligation for any school to open, if it doesn’t feel comfortable and safe, and it is not a legal obligation for any parent in the groups who are sending children back to send them back.

“Nobody is being pressured to do something they don’t feel comfortable about.

“In general, our heads of service have had good conversations with schools and they have been supportive, co-operative and have made superhuman efforts to get their schools ready.”

In total, there are more than 160 primary schools across Buckinghamshire.

There are 13 grammar schools and a number of all-ability secondary schools in the county.

The government has also confirmed secondary schools in England will be able to open to Year 10 and Year 12 from Monday, June 15.

Head teachers in Buckinghamshire are responsible for updating a live-list which notes if their school is open.

While some classrooms have not closed in order to accommodate key workers’ children during the coronavirus crisis, others have.

The table is updated frequently and can be found here.

Also speaking at the cabinet meeting, Buckinghamshire Council leader Martin Tett added:

“We know teachers are passionately committed to the education of their children and they know every week lost in terms of education, particularly for some of the disadvantaged pupils, is a life opportunity diminished.

“It is really important when we can safely re-open schools, we do so. I’m very supportive of safely re-opening schools but that will come down to the choice of individual headteachers.

“We’re working very closely with headteachers and other bodies to make sure we can do this safely.

“Ultimately it will be a parental choice as well. They may choose or not choose to send their children back to school and as far as I’m aware there will be no penalty for parents who choose to do that.”

The cabinet meeting was held virtually on Tuesday, May 26.

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