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Telford & Wrekin Council chiefs tell parents no date yet for schools to fully reopen

By Deborah Hardiman | Telford | News | Published:

Telford & Wrekin Council chiefs have told parents that no date has been set for the borough's schools to fully reopen doors after half-term.

Telford & Wrekin Council headquarters

Bosses have written to families to explain that Downing Street's request for all nursery, reception and Years one and six pupils to return to lessons next month, cannot be safely carried out at all sites.

But the council said not all of these age groups would be able to return at the same time due to differences in building design.

The council said it was "ultimately - a decision for central Government as to whether schools will open more widely in the coming weeks" and pleaded with parents not to vent their "inevitable frustrations" at school staff.

The letter states: "We have been in touch with the Government and have emphasised that in Telford & Wrekin we are determined to do the right thing for our children, families and schools.

"This may not fit exactly with their expectations or timescale.

"We want the borough's children to return to school, but only when it is safe for them and for the staff in schools to do so.

"We are asking our schools to work with us to establish what numbers they can safely manage and this will differ in each school because the buildings and layouts are all different."

The letter also states: "Each school will have its own plan based on its own circumstances. That is why we have not specified a date on which schools will widen their opening in Telford & Wrekin.

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"We believe that this is a decision for each school to arrive at based on what is manageable and safe.

"So it is about doing the right thing at the right time."

It further states: "Our schools have worked incredibly hard over the last eight weeks doing their best to support children at home as well as over 900 children children of key workers and those deemed to be vulnerable, who have continued to attend school each week.

"Any plans to increase the numbers of children in our schools for the rest of this term will also have to take these continuing numbers into account."

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that parents and teachers should prepare for the phased reopening of schools in England on June 1 for early years pupils, aged three and four; Reception aged five; Year one, aged six; and Year six, aged 11.

The on June 15 up to a quarter of Year 10, aged 15;, and Year 12, aged 16, will be allowed "some contact" to help prepare for exams.

Schools closed on March 20 ahead of lockdown except for key workers' children and vulnerable children as coronavirus spread.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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