Dear Parents and Carers,
Primary and Secondary Head Teachers in Wokingham are working with the Council to try to bring your children back to school, at least for a little while before the Summer Holidays.
They agree that this may help to prepare your children for returning to school full time, which we hope will not be too far away.
However, this can only happen when schools can be confident that your children will be safe, your family will be safe and school staff will be safe.
Wokingham Schools understand that many of you will share their desire for children to be back in school with their friends and their teacher and our desire for this to be done as safely as possible.
This means that there is a great deal of preparation work to ensure the building is safe and that staff are ready to receive your children. Schools are already working hard to support your children’s learning at home and to provide support in school for children of key workers, some children with SEND and children who have a Social Worker. This will continue until everybody is back in school.
The government have said that June 1st is the earliest possible date, but this is not a definite date. Please do not send your children to school unless your child’s school has contacted you directly to offer a place.
Any new provision may be part-time, this may mean your child is offered a place just for morning or afternoon or just for 1 or 2 days a week, but some schools may be able to offer more.
The Leader of the Council has issued the following statement in support of all Wokingham schools doing the right and safe thing for their school community:
“Wokingham Borough Council recognises the Government announcement regarding schools re-opening at the earliest from 1st June, and are working to support schools in their planning for the return of children to their settings. We wholly support the benefits of children re-engaging with learning, and are also minded to the safety and wellbeing of all of our Wokingham learners.
“We continue to work with all Schools and Academies in the Borough, and will support each Governing Body or Trust to make decisions that are appropriate to their school and school community to ensure the safe return of children, young people and teaching staff. This may mean that for some schools children will not return on the 1st June, but will return when the schools risk assessments and plans determine it is right and safe for them to do so.
This will not affect the eligible children that have been continuing to attend schools since school closures on the 20th March”.
Please understand what may work in one school may not work in another this means that some schools will be able to welcome more children, or more year groups than others. Your child’s school will always be acting in the best interests of your child and your family. However, please note there is no mandatory obligation for you to send your child back into school, the new arrangements still provide parental choice, and the Department for Education has suspended all attendance penalties until further notice.
We will provide further updates when schools are ready to welcome back more children.
Carol Cammiss, Director of Children’s Services & Cllr UllaKarin Clark, Lead Member for Children’s Services