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Return Of North Yorkshire Schoolchildren 'Going Well'

Return Of North Yorkshire Schoolchildren 'Going Well'

Published by Karen Liu at 6:44am 11th June 2020. (Updated at 12:45pm 11th June 2020)

The re-opening of primary schools to some year groups in North Yorkshire has been going 'better than we expected'.

That is from the County Council, as some pupils started returning to class at the beginning of last week.

Since then though, the government has relaxed its ambition of getting four weeks of education started in schools by the end of June.

Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills at North Yorkshire County Council, said:

"There isn't a great deal of difference because it's down to the schools themselves.

I think the thing that would concern me more in the long run would be if we started creating some educational inequality; where some children are going to primary school, others aren't and maybe they're not getting the same level of education as the ones that have returned to school.

I think we've been pleasantly surprised at the number of schools that have re-opened.

They've done risk assessments and the ones that feel they can open in  a safe environment for both the students and staff have re-opened.

The problem we have, I suppose, is nationally the guidance seems to changing almost day-to-day so we're just taking it a day at a time. 

But we're glad that the key stage groups are going back."

Patrick has been speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio's Jon Burke:

He also wants anyone who is going to need home-to-school transport in September to sign up for it now,  so they can plan ahead.

You can do that here: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/school-and-college-transport

North Yorkshire County Council says more than two-thirds of its primary schools have now reopened to reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils since June 1.

The authority says it is supporting schools in the decision they must make on whether they can reopen to more pupils prior to the school summer holidays.

Corporate director for Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Carlton, said:

“We will be supporting schools in their decisions on whether or not they can open safely to more year groups in the run-up to the school summer holidays. 

This is a challenging time for primary schools; they are working hard to put in place arrangements which keep pupils safe and feeling secure and which work for their particular school and community.

We are continuing to work with them towards reopening in September, or earlier if they feel they have capacity to admit more children whilst maintaining social distancing and other safety measures.” 

Cllr Mulligan added:

"We are glad that the schools which have opened to some year groups so far have found their arrangements have worked well and children have settled back into school quickly.

Teachers have worked hard to put creative and safe measures in place to give children a stable learning environment.

We’d like to thank parents for their co-operation and the part they have played in helping children settle into the school routine where they can.”

North Yorkshire County Council says secondary schools will be opening from Monday June 15th to allow students in key year groups – Year 10 and Year 12 – to have contact with teachers as they study for exams they will sit next year. Only a quarter of each of those two year groups will be in school at a time.

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