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Advice and guidance for families as schools begin to reopen

Published on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Pupil at desk

AS schools across Leicester begin to reopen for all pupils this autumn, families are being reminded that they can access new online information and support. 

The first 20 city schools will begin to open from today (26 Aug), with the other 92 due to restart on Tuesday 1 September, after being closed to most students since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

City education officials have been working hard with headteachers and governors to put a wide range of measures in place to help ensure that schools are Covid-secure but recognise that many parents will still have concerns about their children returning to school. 

A new webpage – at www.leicester.gov.uk/returntoschool – lists common questions parents may have such as: 

  • Do I have to send my child back to school? 
  • How safe is it for my child to return to school? 
  • Does my child need to wear a face covering?
  • My child is very anxious about returning what support is on offer? 

Other topics covered include travelling to school, uniform, absence recording and after-school clubs. 

Parents with concerns not covered by the online guidance and information should approach their child’s school directly. 

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.” 

To view the FAQs and other guidance about returning to school visit www.leicester.gov.uk/returnto school