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Harrow Council Leader issues statement on schools re-opening

Harrow Council Leader, Cllr Graham Henson has issued a statement on school openings in Harrow.

The statement says: “With the government’s announcement to re-open schools it is natural that parents will have a level of anxiety and worry. Our biggest priority will always be the safety of our residents – and that includes our school children.

“We have made it clear to schools that we expect them to open when they are ready and feel it is safe to do so, and they have my full support. Their preparations to increase the number of pupils attending will be based on a thorough risk assessment and to a timetable that they will judge is safe for our pupils.

“I am so proud of the way our schools have operated throughout this crisis, and I want to thank all our teachers and staff who have worked so hard to ensure children can continue their education in a safe environment during what has been a challenging time.”

Thirteen councils in England have advised against the Government’s desire to reopen schools in England for pupils in nursery and reception years, as well as those in Year 1 and Year 6. The intention is to re-open schools at the start of June in just a couple of weeks.

In Scotland, plans are in place to re-open schools in the Autumn. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that staff are preparing classrooms for the next term which starts earlier than in England.  She said all schools would reopen from 11 August using a “blended model” that would mean part time-school and home learning.

The National Education Union has described the school plan as “reckless” and also said that infection rates were still too high.

Experts have said that it’s unlikely that any parents would be fined for not sending their children back to school in June. Ofsted Chief Inspector of Education Amanda Speilman said: “Given that there will be substantial numbers of children in households where somebody is at high risk, I think it is extraordinarily unlikely that anybody would start at the stick end of the spectrum rather than the carrot.”

(Image Credit: Harrow Council/ Wikipedia)