The local Council is backing a national campaign to reassure parents and children that it is safe to return to school when the new term starts next week.
Schools in Swindon have received Public Health England-endorsed guidance on a range of protective measures they should implement, in an attempt to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus when classes resume next week.
To assist in the roll out of these measures, the Swindon Borough Council has been working closely with schools over the past few months to create appropriate risk assessments and to offer advice on how to open school sites safely for pupils and staff.
In addition, a series of specialised briefings are also taking place with headteachers to update them on the current COVID-19 position in Swindon and to offer additional help and advice if they require it.
Schools in the local area have confirmed that they are introducing a range of measures that they believe will keep children safe, including increased hygiene and handwashing, staggered break times, increased signage and one-way systems. When it comes to the classroom and break times, schoolchildren will also be kept in specific groups or bubbles to minimise transmission risks.
The Council and local schools are aiming to reassure parents that returning to school is the right option for students. They are reflecting the sentiment of the UK Government’s #backtoschoolsafely campaign, which ispart of the wider Stay Alert campaign
Councillor Russell Holland, Deputy Leader of Swindon Borough Council and the Cabinet Member responsible for Education, said:
“I know that there will be concerns about going back to school but I would like to reassure everyone that schools and the Council have been working extremely hard to do everything possible to keep children safe.This will be kept constantly under review.
“I invite all parents to do everything they can to work constructively with schools to help children get the best possible education. It is really important that children are back in school to achieve that.
“When children return to school things will look and feel different as measures are put in place to keep everyone safe. This may mean some challenges at first so I invite parents and students to be patient as everyone works together on this.
“It’s really important to remember that the best way to stay safe is to continue to do the basics of washing hands, maintaining social distancing wherever possible and, if you have any symptoms, to get the test.”
Further information on the #Backtoschoolsafely campaign is available on the Government’s website www.gov.uk/backtoschool.
Parents who are anxious about their children returning to school or who require further information can call the Council’s Early Help Team on 01793 465050.