School advice to be reviewed weekly

4 Jun 2020 01:04
Published by: Scott Callan

The guidance given to schools about whether they should welcome more pupils will be reviewed weekly by Lancashire County Council's Director of Public Health.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi will review his advice on Monday, and if it changes, schools will be encouraged to take the decision to reopen to more pupils from June 15.

If the advice does not change, the guidance will be reviewed again on June 15.

The decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire’s schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with their board of governors, taking into account their individual circumstances.

The county council says it is working closely with schools to provide advice and support. As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so.

Dr Karunanithi has given more details on how he reached the decision to advise schools not to reopen to more pupils. Last week, he advised schools not to reopen to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils because his felt two of the government’s five tests were not being met in the county.

The advice also applies to early years settings such as nurseries and childminders.

He said: “I appreciate this advice has caused concern to some people. We all want to see children back in school as quickly as possible, but we must make sure we safeguard the health and wellbeing of children, families and staff.

“Having reviewed the statistics which showed there had been an increase in confirmed positive cases of coronavirus at a time when the NHS Track and Trace system had launched, but was not fully operational, my professional opinion was that it was not yet safe for schools to open to more children


“As we work across Lancashire and with our partners in the NHS and Public Health England to build a responsive and effective track and trace system, I will be reviewing this advice and updating guidance to schools and parents as appropriate.”

For the latest information on schools in the county, visit:


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