Helping schools to re-open

Telford & Wrekin Council is helping schools to re-open by offering handwashing sessions for children and personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.

Last month the Council wrote to all schools and academies in the borough to make the offer. It includes the initial allocation of Council-funded PPE that the school would need in order to re-open. 

Public Health Nurses from Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust’s 0-19 Healthy Child Programme funded by Telford & Wrekin Council are now visiting schools. They are giving children handwashing lessons and to delivering the PPE equipment which also includes a free “glow-kit” of hand-gel and an ultra-violet torch (pictured) which shows children how clean their hands are.

As directed by Government, schools are initially prioritising reopening for specific years groups. Priority is being given to the following year groups – Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. The Government requires schools to admit the younger age groups first – Nursery, Reception and Year 1. It is also asking secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to begin some face to face support with Year 10 and 12 pupils from week commencing 15th June Only 25% of pupils in those year groups will be able to attend at any one time.

It also asks that all schools and childcare providers continue to offer places to vulnerable children and children of critical workers, as they have since 23 March. These children have priority over all other year groups.

Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People, said:  “We are not imposing opening dates on schools. We are, however, giving all our support to those that decide they are able to open.

“We have committed to providing every school with the initial PPE needed in order for them to be able to open.

“Nurses are delivering handwashing lessons in some schools. Lesson plans are being given to other schools who prefer to deliver the sessions themselves in order to limit the number of visitors.

“The reopening of schools is a vital step forward for everyone, particularly the children of the borough. We are making sure this is done as safely as possible for the children, their families and the school staff.

“We should remember that virtually every school in the borough has remained open throughout the pandemic for children of key workers and vulnerable learners and we are very grateful for their support throughout this crisis.”

This Q&A seeks to answer questions parents may have about the reopening of schools.

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