Scunthorpe schools ‘safely’ reopen to pupils

Scunthorpe schools 'safely' reopen to pupils

Scunthorpe schools ‘safely’ reopen to pupils

School leaders in Scunthorpe have said they feel “ready and confident” to welcome pupils back to classrooms, according to North Lincolnshire Council.

Thousands of pupils have returned to school this week for the first time in almost six months.

Advice and reassurance has been issued, and new safety measures put in place as parents prepare to send their children back to school.

Many schools have introduced staggered start and finish times, giving greater flexibility with break times to avoid mixing between classes and year groups.

It is hoped that this will also reduce the number of people in canteens, corridors and through doorways.

Children are being encouraged to walk or cycle to school if possible.

Parents transporting their children to school in cars are also being asked to park at least five minutes’ walk from the school gates to improve safety and social distancing.

In many cases these measures will see children kept apart in separate bubbles.

Penny Spring, director of public health for North Lincolnshire, said:

“The teaching profession in North Lincolnshire has risen to the many challenges presented to them across the last few months.

“Throughout, the single intention has been to protect and strengthen the education, wellbeing and ultimately, the future of the children and young people across the area.

“The public health team has worked closely with schools and the wider support network to ensure the processes and procedures in place enable Covid-secure positive learning environments.

“The Covid-19 situation is closely monitored and I am confident it is safe for local schools to re-open so long as the guidance for maintaining safety is followed.

“The classroom might feel a little different and there will certainly be a period of bedding in as staff and students alike become accustomed to the changes.

“What has not changed is the commitment and dedication to providing the best possible learning environment and outcomes for children.”

All of North Lincolnshire’s near-80 schools are reopening this week.

Dr Phil Smith, executive principal of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust’s southern region, which includes Outwood Academy Brumby and Outwood Academy Foxhills in Scunthorpe, said the trust was looking forward to safely reopening its schools.:

“At Outwood, the safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance to us.

“Rest assured we have put in place robust risk assessments in order to protect students, staff and the wider community, while still providing our students with a rounded educational experience.

“We have introduced a number of safety measures, including student bubbles, staggered start times and staggered lunch and break times and we shall continue to follow all official guidance to protect our students and staff.

“We are excited to welcome our students back and we continue to be as committed as ever to ensuring that our students are given all the academic and emotional support they need to achieve their potential.”

Mrs Spring added that the return of pupils to school was a large step back towards normality.

But she warned that people should continue to be cautious and remember that coronavirus remains in circulation.

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