Devon schools to reopen: Vows made to take any safety actions required

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 May 2020

Primary school children. Picture: Getti images

Primary school children. Picture: Getti images


Devon’s schools will take ‘any action required’ in order to reopen in a safe way, says Devon County Council.

The Government is now aiming to reopen all primary schools to all children before the summer holiday.

All schools in the county have been closed for most pupils since March, although some continue to offer places for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday night that schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from June 1, with the Government expecting children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point.

Secondary schools and further education colleges should also prepare to begin some face-to-face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning, the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy adds.

And it continues that the ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.

The Department of Education will engage closely with schools and early years providers to develop further detail and guidance on how schools should facilitate this, the document states.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “Currently, schools will continue to offer places for vulnerable children and those of key workers but we understand that many other parents will want to know more about when their children will return to school.

“Schools across the country will also have heard this news for the first time on Sunday and over the course of the next week or two schools will be reviewing the detailed guidance government has said it will provide. They will then take any action required to open the school to the year groups identified in a safe way.

“When they are in a position to do so each school will provide information on their website and in newsletters so that parents will know exactly when the school will be able to once again offer a place for their children.”

The COVID-19 recovery strategy adds there is a large societal benefit from vulnerable children, or the children of critical workers, attending school, and local authorities and schools should therefore urge more children who would benefit from attending in person to do so.

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