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Shropshire schools praised for how they have coped with return of pupils amid pandemic

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Education | Published:

The county's schools have been praised for the way they have coped with the return of pupils, with only one covid outbreak so far.

Schools have been praised for the way they have coped with the return of pupils

Shropshire Council's cabinet member for children's services, Councillor Ed Potter, said the situation in the county's schools is "very good touch-wood" at the moment, and added that everyone will have to learn to live with the precautionary measures in place.

Councillor Potter said that the approach from pupils, parents, and staff at schools across the county had been "fantastic" so far ,with attendances also very high.

It comes as schools across the Midlands, particularly the Black Country, have seen a host of pupils and teachers being forced to self isolate after positive Covid tests.

Councillor Potter said: "We are going to have to live with this going forward one way or another for several months, if not longer.

"Children need to have an education. The benefit of being in school in terms of health and wellbeing and socialising – even distanced – is so important for young people's development."

Earlier this week Shrewsbury Academy announced that a member of staff – who it said was not in contact with pupils – had tested positive for Covid-19.

The situation sparked concern with parents calling to check the situation and arriving at the school to pick up their children.

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Councillor Potter said that there had been a considerable amount of work that has gone into putting policies and procedures in place at schools, and urged parents and pupil not to panic, if there are positive tests – as will be inevitable.

He said: "Our schools have got fantastic procedures in place as we saw with Shrewsbury Academy and how they dealt with it.

"We just need to make sure that no one panics and everyone stays calm and follows the guidance because children are better off in school."

Councillor Potter praised the work of parents in home schooling during lockdown, but said it is important to get schools operating again.

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Fantastic

He said: "Parents did a fantastic job home-schooling but the benefits of being in school with peers, for mental health, are so important for young people's development."

Telford & Wrekin leader Shaun Davies a lot of effort had gone into making sure schools had policies in place, and that so far attendances had been above the national average.

He said: "We have worked really closely with schools to ensure they have measures in place to protect schools and where there are cases appropriate action takes place."

The council leader added that actual cases were still low, but said people should seek tests if they have symptoms.

He said: "Of all the people going forward for testing in Telford & Wrekin only one per cent are having a positive result.

"People that display symptoms, a cough or a cold, which is quite normal at this time of year, the important thing is to get tested, not to panic and if it is positive follow the advice of the school and council."

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