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Survey shows 97 per cent of schools plan to welcome pupils back

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Coronavirus, Primary Schools, Returning to school, Secondary schools

A child looking at a bunch of pencils - bought with school funding

A survey of more than 4,000 headteachers shows that 97 per cent of schools plan to welcome pupils back for the autumn term.

The research, carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), also illustrates the work that schools and colleges have done in order to make sure pupils and parents can feel confident about the return to school.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Getting all children back into classrooms is a national priority, and these findings shine a light on the brilliant work going on across the country to make sure our schools are ready. I want to thank all of the headteachers, teachers and school staff for everything they are doing to ensure children can get back into their classes safely when the new term starts.

School is the best place for children’s education, development and wellbeing and these findings should give parents and families further confidence ahead of all pupils returning to classrooms over the coming days.

The survey highlights the range of protective measures being putting in place to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • 96 per cent are organising regular additional cleaning of classrooms and school premises
  • 96 per cent are creating and maintaining pupil bubble groups
  • 93 per cent are staggering lunchtimes and breaktimes
  • 87 per cent are staggering start and finish times for pupils
  • 83 per cent are installing signs to direct pupils and parents
  • 79 per cent are installing additional handwashing or hand sanitation units

The survey will reassure parents that schools are prepared to welcome pupils back safely. We know many parents already feel comfortable about the return with ONS data released in July showing almost 9 in 10 adults with children of school age (89 per cent) reported that it was either very or fairly likely that those children would return to school or college when the new term begins.

There is also extensive coverage today of a study in the British Medical Journal that found Covid-19 has not caused the deaths of any otherwise healthy children in the UK. The research has been covered widely in the press with author Professor Calum Semple, from the University of Liverpool, quoted by the BBC saying: "There have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children… There is no direct harm from children going back to school."

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