Schools can open to more pupils from June 22 - if ready to do so

16 Jun 2020 09:50
Published by: Scott Callan

Schools in Lancashire are being encouraged to reopen to more pupils from June 22 -if they are ready to do so.

The move comes after the county’s Director of Public Health judged that enough progress has been made in the county to revise his advice.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi had issued blanket guidance to schools to delay reopening to more pupils because his professional view was that two of the government’s five coronavirus tests were not being met in the county.

However, a reduction in the rate of confirmed coronavirus infections combined with the county’s readiness to support the local implementation of the national NHS Test and Trace Programme means enough progress has now been made to adjust the advice.

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.

As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools continue to be encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so.

The government says that children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can now be welcomed back. For secondary schools and colleges, the government is keen for teachers to have some face-to-face contact with specified year groups.

The county council says that each school in Lancashire is different, and head teachers will consider a number of factors as they reach their decision, including their ability to introduce measures to encourage social distancing and ensure schools are Covid-secure.

The local authority says it will “work closely” with schools to provide advice and support.


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

Dr Karunanithi said: “I am now satisfied that there no longer needs to be blanket advice given to Lancashire's schools to delay reopening to more pupils.

“We are seeing encouraging signs that there is a reduction in the rate of new infections and thankfully there are now fewer deaths from this virus – but it is important to stress that the prevalence of coronavirus is still higher in Lancashire than elsewhere in the country so the room for manoeuvre is limited.

“Each school should now take into account their own individual circumstances to determine if they can welcome more pupils to Covid-secure schools from June 22.

“There are a number of factors they must consider and one of the most critical is whether or not they are able to introduce effective measures to encourage social distancing.

“That is also important advice for us all. This virus has not gone away, and there is still a risk that we will face a second peak. That makes it vital for us to maintain social distancing, wash our hands regularly and, if contacted by NHS Test and Trace, follow the instructions given.

“Failure to do this could see some of the measures to ease restrictions on our lives reversed, and could lead to more people dying of coronavirus."

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