A council has said it wants pupils to start returning back to school next week ‘with confidence’.
Nottinghamshire County Council said it has been working to provide children and their families with all the information they need to help them feel confident about getting back to school next week following the Covid-19 lockdown.
The council has updated their ‘back to school’ web page with a range of information about returning to school, mealtime arrangements, travelling to school, support with emotional wellbeing and information for children with additional needs.
Councillor Philip Owen, Committee Chairman children and young people, said: “The safety and wellbeing of Nottinghamshire’s children, young people, families and staff is our priority.
“The restrictions in place since March mean that many of the county’s school-age children won’t have been in school for some time when they go back – so it’s vital that they, and their parents and carers, feel supported and ready to return.
“We feel it’s important for all school-age children to get back to school safely, especially after so many missed out on much of their valuable education during the lockdown restrictions.
“Our education team continues to support school teams in their meticulous preparation and risk assessments ahead of September. These include providing advice and guidance on health and safety measures, ensuring we can do all we can to support children’s emotional well-being as they return and engage them appropriately in a return to learning with the right support in place.”
The transport team has also been working hard to ensure school transport services in Nottinghamshire run smoothly with new arrangements in place from September, in line with government guidance. The authority is working hard to ensure sufficient capacity on school transport and is working with commercial providers, as well as contracting additional coaches to provide dedicated school transport services.
The council is urging parents to encourage their children to walk or cycle or to school wherever possible. And even to think about leaving their cars at home when accompanying their children to school. If that is not an option and they must travel by car, we are asking if they can avoid parking too close to school and instead, walk part of the way. After the recent break from routine, the journey to school may be an opportunity for regular daily exercise for both children and their parents and carers.
Planning journeys ahead of time will help things go smoothly and will ensure people are aware of what is needed if they must use public transport or dedicated school transport.
We have worked hard with partners to get things ready and we are ready to respond quickly if need be.
Should parents still have questions or concerns about the plans in place for their child’s school, they should contact schools and headteachers to discuss the specific measures in place, and check their school’s website for the latest information.
Throughout the pandemic, Nottinghamshire schools remained open for children of key workers and those who are vulnerable, and welcomed additional pupils back from June.