Schools across Leicester have been given the go ahead to open their doors again to students. As of today, there are 20 schools opening, with the other 92 schools opening from next Tuesday (1st Sept).
Whilst this will be a relief for many parents and children due to the increasing sense of normality across the city, the return to schools is also expected to bring an increase in fear and anxiety.
To pre-empt and alleviate these concerns, Leicester City Council have put together an information page on their website, with the answers to many questions that are being raised right now.
The page can be found here: www.leicester.gov.uk/returntoschool
A list of answers to questions are available, such as “do I have to send my child back to school?” and “If my child is unable to attend, how will their absence be recorded?”
Other topics covered include travel, uniform, and after-school clubs amongst others.
Assistant city mayor for education Cllr Elly Cutkelvin said: “The start of a new school year is always a significant event for families, but we recognise that this year is quite different.
“Restarting school after such a long period of lockdown is bound to raise concerns for many parents and children and we recognise that there is still a lot of work to do over the coming weeks and months to ensure that families have full confidence in returning children to the school.
“To try and help reassure those families, we’ve published a wide range of guidance on our website and we will continually update this. We know that it won’t address everything, and parents should approach their child’s school directly with any specific concerns.
“Returning to school is really important for children’s education and wellbeing and the Government has said that attendance will be mandatory for the coming term. However, I want to reassure families that our education welfare team will act with compassion and understanding, especially so in these uncertain times.
“Enforcement action will only be taken as an absolute last resort and the team will focus on working closely with families to understand and address their individual circumstances.”
Strategic director of social care and education Martin Samuels added: “Children and young people need to be in a school environment. We know that schools are looking forward to welcoming back students for the autumn term and that they are doing all they can to make sure that schools are the safest place for them to be.
“We are continuing to support schools as they reopen and we are keen to support families too, by providing as many answers and as much support as we can.
“As far as we are aware, there was not a single case of pupil-to-pupil transmission during the period when schools were open and the number of children who have tested positive for coronavirus in Leicester remains low, despite the city having carried out significantly more tests than anywhere else in the country.”
Alongside this, there is extensive advice from the government which can be found here.
If parents are still unsure about this matter, contacting their child’s school directly would be the best course of action.
By Sam Ellison