We are now at the point where the government had hoped that schools would reopen on the 1st June, just a few days away. Doncaster LA has taken the view that based on the evidence and taking scientific advice into account, the risk to children and staff is too great to open. I think the opening point will move to 15th June for Reception, Y1 and Y6 – and I think most of us are relieved at this postponement because we all thought it was a dangerous move. The big sticking point for most people is that the government has clearly stated that children as young as four and five cannot socially distance, and yet they want to cram them into classrooms where they will all mix. This would be easier with Y6, but even then it would not be possible to enforce social distancing. Teachers wonder why it is essential that Primary children are in schools whereas Secondary children are not, and we are not really sure of the answers.
On Monday 1st June, all teachers will be in school to look at the Risk Assessment that has been drafted. We will also be planning next steps for the school and talking about how to provide online work for all children, whether they are in school or not. On Tuesday, LSAs will be in school looking at the Risk Assessment, after which, it will go to governors and then onto the website and out to parents. Writing the risk assessment has been very time consuming as there are so many points to cover as all we can do is make the school safer, we cannot make it safe in terms of coronavirus – and that is basically because we cannot make children socially distance.
I believe that in September, the school will be open to all children – but by then the incidence of the disease should be very low and the track and trace system should be working in a swift and sophisticated manner. I do think that next year will be a strange one – the after-effects of such a disruption to a school year may well be felt for quite a while… but we will have to wait and see.