We are working closely with schools and early years providers in the borough to support them in their individual preparations for opening more widely as soon as they are confident it is safe to do so.
Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education explains the situation. Click on the image below to watch the film:
Further guidance for parents and carers is available on the government website.
Whether or not schools and early years providers open more widely from 1 June onwards, they will continue to offer places for vulnerable children and those of key workers. Parents should contact their school or setting directly for information about their phased re-opening.
“Hello, I’m Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education.
It’s half term this week, yet many schools are busy. Some are still open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils, where the numbers attending have been rising steadily over the past few weeks. Other schools are not open to pupils this week, but are spending time preparing for opening for larger numbers of children from next week at the earliest.
Following the government’s reiteration of the announcement that it expects schools to welcome more pupils from certain year groups from the 1st of June onwards, schools have been working out how they can welcome more children safely, and council officers have been supporting them to understand and apply the public health guidance. The health and safety of children and staff remains our top priority.
Across Merton, different schools are taking different decisions based on their particular situation. If you are a parent or guardian, your school will have been in touch about their arrangements, so do contact the school if you have any questions. Some are taking extra time – to train staff and prepare classrooms; others feel able to open more quickly, but perhaps only with one year group to start with.
We await final confirmation, of course, in the statement expected from government this Thursday, but in the meantime, I would personally like to thank Headteachers, Governors, Governing Bodies and their staff teams for the extraordinary efforts they have put into dealing with all the challenges that the past couple of months have thrown at them. And I’d also like to thank our families for coping with the challenges of home education. We trust that families will continue to take decisions for their own wellbeing, and want to assure them that no parent will be penalised for non attendance during this reopening phase.
I wish all our residents and families well and hope that you all stay safe during this challenging time.