COVID-19: Schools Update - May 11

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schools update

Response to PM's announcement yesterday

dan barton

Dear All,

I write to you all following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening in relation to the initial sketching out of the roadmap to relaxing the Covid-19 lockdown.

Whilst there are caveats expressed in the PM’s comments, the date of 1st of June was mentioned as the earliest possible date that schools may open, subject to a number of key factors (rate of infection, daily death rate, availability of PPE etc.).

It was very clear that the government rightly wishes to secure a gradual reboot of the economy, but it was equally clear that the reopening of schools would not happen until there was evidence that it is safe and appropriate.

Notwithstanding the half term break, it would seem that the three week lead-in time specified by various professional associations has been taken into account. One of our tasks over the next few weeks will be to build on the work of the Education Tactical Co-ordination Group and the Children’s Partnership, focusing on planning for the date at which schools do reopen – we are fortunate to have begun our thinking about this several weeks ago, and will work to a rolling three week lead-in.

Clearly between now and when schools do reopen we must continue our work to ensure vulnerable children are supported and I recognise that the demands of planning for reopening will sit alongside the ongoing demands of operating our hub schools. I know this will be a very significant task and we are here to support you.

I will remind you all that implementing government guidance, and finding a direction of travel which works for Cumbria is what we have been doing together, very successfully, since the beginning of the epidemic, and I do not doubt that we have it within our compass to continue to do so.

Professionals representing the different phases of education in Cumbria are meeting in conversation today to continue the work which we have already begun, and developing the Cumbrian response to this most recent advice. Please be reassured that, by working together in this way, we will develop a response which will implement the guidance when it comes out, but which keeps people safe.

Please note we will be sending a bulletin with further updates later today.

Best wishes,

Dan Barton, Assistant Director - Education and Skills
Cumbria County Council