Lewisham’s schools remain open to support the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This support will remain in place during May half term, where families need it.
The government has asked primary schools to begin to welcome back more children in phases starting with nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 – from 1 June at the earliest, if Coronavirus infections decline sufficiently. The government has indicated that they will make a final decision on this date by 28 May.
I know that everyone wants children to be back in schools and learning as soon as is practical, with measures in place to ensure children and adults are as safe as possible. There is no doubt that a long absence from school can exacerbate inequalities in learning as well as having a detrimental impact on children’s health and wellbeing.
Any decision to increase numbers in school and the timing of a phased return of year groups will be based on careful planning and risk assessment, taking into account the welfare of both children and adults.
This means that no one should yet assume that their child will be able to return to school on 1 June. Parents, children, teachers and staff should be reassured that we will only invite pupils back when a risk assessment has been undertaken and a full plan has been put in place. In the coming weeks, you will be advised of our plans. Mrs. Dunn will be contacting all Year 6 Parents and Carers to outline our intent for their phased return today.
There will inevitably be anxieties around a phased return to school, but there is no pressure to send children back to school before they are ready. In partnership with the LA and other partners, we will build confidence through a careful and well-planned return to school, when it is safe to do so.