Schools in Bracknell Forest are looking forward to welcoming back all pupils at the start of the new academic year next week.
Thousands of children have been learning from home since March, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although schools remained open for vulnerable and key worker children and selected primary and secondary year groups returned to school in June, this September will see all pupils go back to school together for the first time since the spring term. With help and advice from the council, headteachers and school staff across the borough have been working to support a safe environment for all students.
Every local authority school is following Public Health England guidance and has introduced various measures to protect both staff and pupils, such as:
- classroom bubbles
- staggered start and finish times
- regular hand washing
- forward facing desks, where possible
Risk assessments have also been updated and enhanced cleaning regimes are in place.
Cllr Gareth Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning, said:
“The safety and wellbeing of Bracknell Forest’s school students, families and staff is our priority.
"It’s vital that they feel safe returning to school this autumn and I know our education team continues to support schools in their meticulous preparations ahead of next week.
“School will be a different environment to what it was at the start of the year, but the changes in place have been made for the safety of staff and pupils. I’d encourage parents and carers to prepare their children for the extra measures in place by talking to them about it, especially those who may be feeling anxious about returning.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the headteachers, teachers and school staff for their hard work and dedication, especially this year. It’s been a turbulent time for all, but I look forward to seeing our schools fully functioning again and seeing our children succeed.”
All children should be returning to school unless they are following Public Health England advice and self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), have had a positive test result, or living with someone who has tested positive. If your child cannot attend for this reason you will need to talk to their school or college about what support is available for remote learning.