Many councils not certain that schools can reopen on 1 June, according to survey

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26th May 2020 10:59 - Local Government

Many councils not certain that schools can reopen on 1 June: Although the Government has announced plans for a phased reopening of schools on 1 June, a BBC Breakfast poll of individual councils has cast doubt on whether this will happen in many areas. 

Under new plans, Reception, Year One and Year 6 are due to go back in England on 1 June; however, of the 99 councils who responded to the poll, two-thirds (68) said they were unable to guarantee that their school would be ready for the start of the month. Just a fifth said they were advising schools to open more widely on the Government's target date. 

A total of 14 local councils (the majority of which are in the North West of England), said they would not be recommending schools reopen to more pupils, while 11 said they had not made a decision yet. 

More than half the schools who responded (54) said that they were leaving individual schools to decide what is best for them.

Amongst the local authorities who responded saying they would not be reopening on the 1 June are Blackburn, Bury, Calderdale, Cheshire East, Cheshire West, East Riding, Knowsley, Newcastle City, Rochdale, Stockport, Trafford and Wirral.

The announcement of the planned phased reopening of primary schools in England resulted in concerns being raised by teaching unions and head teachers. 

Councillor Judith Blake, who is the chair of the LGA’s  children and young people board, backed the call for decisions to be made at a local level due to the differences in infection rates in different parts of the country.

 "As there are different Covid-19 infection rates around the country, schools and councils must be able to work together to decide how and when schools open to more children,” she said. 



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