Essex County Council is preparing for a phased school reopening following the coronavirus lockdown

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education. Picture: Essex County Council

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education. Picture: Essex County Council - Credit: Essex County Council

Essex County Council is preparing for a phased school reopening.

Following the Government’s announcement about the reopening of education and childcare settings, the return in Essex will take place on a gradual, phased and small-scale basis.

The county council says this will allowing for local flexibility in terms of class size, staffing, and the constraints of school buildings.

Teams across the council have been working with Essex schools and early years settings, and partners such the Department for Education, Ofsted, education professional associations, unions and other local authorities to prepare for reopening.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I want to reassure parents, carers and communities that our primary concern is the safety of all children, their families and staff. The support and guidance we are giving to all settings puts safety at the forefront.

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“Reopening is a complicated exercise and we are helping settings to come up with their own solutions.”

Cllr Gooding said not all settings will be able to offer a full-time service initially. Some may re-open later in June.

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“Things will be gradual, phased, and small scale to begin with, and potentially until the end of term.

“Schools, colleges and early years settings will be contacting parents and carers with details of their arrangements in the coming weeks. Parents and carers should speak to their school following this if they have further questions or concerns.

“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the fantastic and tireless work of all education and childcare staff over the last few months, preparing for closure, supporting children with home learning, keeping settings open for those that needed it most, and now, working towards re-opening. The dedication and commitment they have shown during this time is inspiring and my thanks goes to each and every one of them.”

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