Ebor Academy Trust has said a cautious, gradual and phased opening of its schools to more pupils will take place during the first week of June 2020 – but only if risks are minimised to an acceptable level and if government criteria on safety has been met.
In a letter to parents dated 19 May, chief executive Gail Brown said: “You will be all too aware of the national debate of the decision to gradually reopen schools to more children as long as key safety criteria is met. Since the prime minister’s announcement, there has been a raft of government guidance and schools across the country are working to see how these intentions might be achieved.
“I want to make it clear that we will only open our schools to more pupils if we are satisfied the risks have been minimised according to government guidance. The health and safety of staff and pupils is a guiding principle in every decision we make.
“Our initial plans – subject to the government’s key criteria being met – are that most of our schools will be closed on Monday 1 June (other than for those children currently accessing schools) in order for all settings to be thoroughly organised, safe and ready for what will be a very new scenario. When places are provided for more children, these will be on a part-time basis. Due to children attending in small groups, all schools (other than for key worker children, vulnerable and EHCP) will be closed on Wednesdays in order to carry out a deep clean.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to prioritise, above all others, those children who are still coming to school. We are working with our headteachers to explore ways where we can, if conditions allow it, gradually and in a phased way reintroduce children to school. In our mainstream primaries, first from Nursery classes, then Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. At our secondary school, there are plans for five groups of Year 10 students to attend one day a week each in the first instance. However I want to emphasise these measures will be taken extremely cautiously, year group by year group, and only when headteachers are confident to do so.
“At the same time, we need to acknowledge that available capacity in our schools will dictate this pace and it is perfectly feasible that in order to maintain satisfactory distancing, there will be limits to the number of children who can attend.”
As this situation is constantly evolving, plans are being reviewed on a daily basis.