Council Leader calls on Government to rethink school reopening

18/05/2020, PR-9406

​The Leader of Wakefield Council is calling on the Government to step away from the date it has given to reopen schools.

The Government announced plans last week, for the phased reopening of schools with primary school pupils in reception, year 1 and year 6 to return to classrooms from 1 June.

Cllr Denise Jeffery
Cllr Denise Jeffery

Council Leader, Cllr Denise Jeffery, has today voiced concerns and is asking the Government to reconsider this guidance.

Cllr Jeffery said: "The safety of our children, their families, teachers and staff has to be, and will be, our top priority. We need to give schools more time so that they are prepared as possible to help keep everyone safe. Reopening on 1 June is too soon.

"We understand that it is important for children to return to school to get the education they need and we will be working with schools to help them to be able to do this as soon as is possible."

The Council is working with school leaders across maintained schools and academies to support them to reopen when the time is right for their school.

Cllr Jeffery added "Ultimately it is the schools decision and if they decide to reopen we will support them to do this, putting the safety of children and school staff first.

"The planning process to reopen is a very detailed and challenging piece of work and each school will make the decision based on the risk assessment for their school. This needs to be done thoroughly and be well thought out.

"We will support children to return to classes when schools are confident it is safe to do so."