Cambridgeshire education chief tell parents ‘it’s your decision’ on whether to send your children back to school on Monday

PUBLISHED: 11:14 30 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:14 30 May 2020

Schools boss Jonathan Lewis has revealed how he was bombarded with a significant volume of emails from headteachers. Picture: CCC/PA

Schools boss Jonathan Lewis has revealed how he was bombarded with a significant volume of emails from headteachers. Picture: CCC/PA

Archant

Pupils returning to Cambridgeshire schools on Monday will be taught in ‘bubbles’ of no more than 12 in each group, below the Government suggestion of 15.

But county education chiefs say not all schools will be able to open on that date.

And they pledged that any parent refusing to send their child to school this academic year won’t risk prosecution.

Jonathan Lewis, service director for education at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council said: “I want to reiterate to parents and carers: it is your final decision on whether to send your children to school or not.

“We will not penalise any parent who doesn’t send their child to school in this academic year.”

The Government confirmed on Thursday their position to allow primary schools, nurseries and early years settings to begin welcoming back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils from Monday (June 1).

Secondary schools can follow on June 15, with some Year 10 and Year 12 pupils being offered face-to-face time with their teachers, in preparation for their exams.

Mr Lewis said: “Our schools are different shapes and sizes, and each has its own individual circumstances – so some may not be in a position to reopen fully on Monday, but they won’t be far behind.

“The government has asked that children should be taught in ‘bubbles; of up to 15 pupils - in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough these groups will all be between 8 - 12 pupils.

“Where schools can justify reasons through their risk assessments that they shouldn’t open, we will support them in this decision.”

He said: “Schools are committed to keeping parents informed of their plans and they will be your point of contact.

“We will, of course, continue to keep a close eye on infection rates and any implications at a local level. Our communication with schools will continue. The hard work does not stop here.”

A council spokesman said: “Taking into account national government guidance, and local public health information, it is the view of Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council that schools can begin to start welcoming back more pupils from Monday, where their risk assessments have shown they are in a position to do so.”

Both councils say all risk assessments have been discussed and shared with the teaching unions.


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