Schools across Wolverhampton have remained open throughout the emergency to support hundreds of vulnerable children and the children of key workers, with primary schools welcoming back other pupils from nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from the start of this month.
And today (Monday 15 June, 2020), secondary schools have reopened their doors to up to a quarter of Year 10 and Year 12 students.
Last week, over 4,400 pupils attended school – up by around 1,500 on the first week of the month – and that number is expected to rise further with the return of some Year 10 and 12 students this week.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Education is vitally important for all children and young people, and so we have been very keen that as many pupils as possible return to school as soon as it is safe enough to do so.
"We have worked closely with schools, headteachers, unions, parents and health and safety and public health experts and I'm proud of the way we have come together to help make our schools a safe place for children and young people to learn and to play.
"All schools in the city are now open to pupils in the key year groups, although because of the health and safety measures which are in place, the number of children who can attend and for how many days per week varies from school to school.
“We also appreciate that many pupils aren’t able to go back just yet, and schools will continue to support parents and carers to educate their children at home over the coming weeks.”
Tricia Scott, Headteacher at Loxdale Primary School, said: "It has been lovely to welcome back more of our children from nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 into their new bubbles. As always, safety is our main priority and we have implemented a number of new routines and procedures to ensure everyone stays safe whilst in our school.
"Although things may look very different in our building, the parents have whole heartedly supported our social distancing measures and the children have adapted brilliantly to their new environment. We cannot wait until the day when all of our children can return to our school and we can all be together again."
Angela Daniel, Headteacher at St Paul's Church of England Primary School, said: "We have had a really calm and purposeful start back for our pupils, and I would like to thank everyone at the council for their help with this – the balance of support and freedom given to schools has been greatly appreciated."
Meanwhile governors at Bilston CE Primary School produced a short video to inform parents of the health and safety measures that have been introduced in the school to protect children, staff and families.
Governor and local councillor Beverley Momenabadi said: "It was really important that we reassure parents how our school was preparing for pupils to return to their classrooms, and we wanted to highlight to parents the social distancing measures we were putting in place as well as the emphasis on personal hygiene with good handwashing, cleaning and sanitising."
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.