As of Thursday (10 September), local schools reported that some 85% of primary pupils and 90% of secondary students were in attendance – above the national average of around 84%.
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "It's great to see our children's education once more in full swing with pupils successfully back to school in such large numbers – and I would like to thank our teachers, support staff and of course pupils and parents for enabling this to happen.
"With cases of Covid-19 rising locally and nationally, it is probably not surprising that there have been a handful of confirmed cases of the virus within the local school population. Where these have been confirmed, the schools involved have acted quickly with the support of the council and Public Health England, and members of the affected bubble are self-isolating so that the rest of the school can function as normal.
"Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of the virus, which will not only protect friends and family but also help keep more of our children in school.
"In particular, I would ask parents and carers to do all they can to maintain social distancing when dropping off or picking up children from school, to arrive at their allocated time and not wait around for any longer than they need to. They should also consider wearing a face covering when they're on the school run.
"And children should wash their hands more often, wear a face covering where required and stay in their school bubble at all times."
He added: “If any parents or carers are still in two minds about whether to send their children back, I would urge them to do so, because it’s in their very best interests to be in school, both for their educational and their psychological wellbeing. Attendance is mandatory once more and our schools have worked incredibly hard to ensure they are as Covid-secure as possible.”
If a child or someone they live with develops symptoms of Covid-19 – a fever, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to their sense of taste or smell – they should self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or visiting GOV.UK. No-one in the family should attend school, but they should stay in contact with the school at this time.
There are 4 simple steps people must take to protect each other:
- Hands - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- Face - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- Space - Stay 2m apart from people you do not live with, or 1m with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) where 2m is not possible.
- Test and Trace – Get a test if you have symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, and share your contact details for Test and Trace purposes
When seeing friends and family you do not live with you should:
- follow social distancing rules
- limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
- meet people outdoors wherever practical, because fresh air provides better ventilation
Latest data shows there were 53.06 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 residents in Wolverhampton in the seven days to 11 September, compared to 28.21 in the seven days to 4 September.
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.