No pressure for pupils to return

Parents will be under no pressure to send their children back to school from 1st June, Cheshire East Council said yesterday (Wednesday), as the Chronicle went to print.
Announcing its local approach to implementing the Government guidance on the return to schools during the easing of lockdown restrictions, the authority said that no fines would be applied to those who did not send their children to school, although parents were asked to consider how their child could start to transition back into education.
Cheshire East also recommended to headteachers that from 1st June schools took two weeks to ensure they were confident with the arrangements and for staff to be familiar with new working practices.
There will then be a phased return of additional pupils from 15th June.
The council said it had ensured that all schools and colleges across Cheshire East had an initial supply of PPE and these will be delivered to all schools and colleges in advance of any wider opening.
Early years settings, schools and colleges have been asked to plan for social distancing and take time to train staff in new working practices. Classrooms groups should be a maximum of 15, as stated by the department for education, but should be less than this where needed to allow for desks to be 2m apart.
Parents were told: “The priorities for young children on starting back at school will be getting used to new school routines with an initial focus on mental health and wellbeing. We ask that you be mindful that the offer from schools will not be a return to the full curriculum and timetable.
“We are very aware of the anxiety of parents, children and young people and staff in schools and once again we can assure you that we will only move to a wider opening of schools where we are confident that the risk management arrangements and planning that has been put in place make it safe to do so.”