On 09 June, the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson stated, that “while we are not able to welcome all primary children back for a full month before the summer, we continue to work with the sector on the next steps, where we’d like to see school’s who have the capacity, to bring back more children in those smaller class sizes, to do so, if they are able to do, before the summer holidays.’“
Many schools have interpreted this to mean they can welcome back year groups 2 to 5, so long as government guidance regarding safety and social distancing can be adhered to.
We would recommend your school check the liability insurance position with your own insurance provider, but detail below some considerations the school may find helpful.
- Continue to document all decision making rationale from the Governors and Leadership / Management Team
- Ensure risk assessments are relevant for the day to day and also for Covid-19 related risks
- Revisit risk assessments already in place for when reception and year groups 1 and 6 were brought back, do these need to be updated in light of on the ground experiences?
- Your site will become busier, pay close attention to access points for drop off and pick up, to avoid parental clusters during these times
- Should it be you cannot welcome back all pupil’s in a particular year, how do you select and communicate with parents, consider potential unwitting discrimination
- If parents choose not to send their child back, whether this is for their own personal reasons, or whether the child is isolating as they are within a vulnerable or shielded household, the parents would expect online learning to remain of a high standard. Consider how this could be achieved if teachers are now being utilised in the ‘real’ classroom
- Consider your parental communications, ensure they are clear and compliant with government guidance
You may find the below links from Gov.uk helpful when planning for your own school: