Wakefield Council urges parents to keep children at home if possible
Wakefield Council is supporting school leaders as they begin delivering remote learning as well as keeping schools open to support children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
In a bid to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and also to support schools to meet the significant demands of the third national lockdown, Wakefield Council has written to all parents to advise them of the arrangements for attendance.
Beate Wagner, Wakefield Council's Corporate Director for Children and Young People, said: "All our schools are working exceptionally hard to meet the needs of their students and their families.
"We absolutely understand the need of critical frontline workers to be able to do their job and the district's schools are doing all they can to accommodate children whose parents need them to be in school as well as all our vulnerable children. However, if this is not the case we urge parents to consider keeping their child at home so they can learn remotely.
"This would help the district's effort to reduce the spread of the virus as well as supporting our schools."
The national Government guidance allows for the children of critical workers to be in school. However, the most recent guidance broadens the definitions of critical workers and, as a consequence, increases the number of children who may be seeking a place in school as compared to previous phases in the pandemic. Consequently, schools are under increased pressure and the Council is asking parents and carers to do all they can to support schools by keeping children at home if they are able to.
Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "It is crucial that wherever possible everyone stays at home to help reduce the transmission of the virus.
"In line with this, schools have undertaken robust health and safety assessments that limit the number of children that can safely attend school. It is right that this supports our critical key workers to be able to do their jobs and keeps vulnerable children in school, but the demands the Government has put on our schools during this third lockdown means that staffing and capacity is under pressure. The provision of quality remote learning across our schools is a clear priority but is a huge additional ask of teaching staff.
"Yet again the Government has failed to fully consider the impact of its actions on our schools, children and families.
"My sincere thanks and admiration goes out to all our schools and parents. Working, parenting and teaching are three very different jobs that you are being asked to do all at once. It will be a huge strain for many. You are all doing a great job and by supporting each other and working together we will get through this."
Journalists who require further information should contact:
Wakefield Council Communications team
Telephone 01924 305295