Tricia Davies, Interim Head of Education at Sefton Council, has written to parents and carers of pupils at the Borough's schools as we come to the end of the school year.
Dear parents and carers
We are coming to the end of yet another unprecedented school year for our children and young people. Over the last year we have seen our pupils in school and out of school due to the government guidance and the subsequent closure of bubbles. Many of you will have been working from home and also supporting the remote learning of your children. I would like to thank you for all your hard work with your children and in working closely with the schools to ensure your children have continued their learning. It has been wonderful to see the close collaboration and indeed the many emails I have received from you show how much you have appreciated the support from your children’s school when they have been accessing remote learning. This has ensured that all our children have had access to support from the schools and other services where needed.
We would also like to say thank you to the headteachers and all the staff in our schools who have worked tirelessly to support children whether in school or at home. Many have worked over the holidays and often weekends to ensure that the work is ready for the children and that the schools are COVID safe. I am sure you agree that they deserve a well-earned break over the summer. Having said that, they will be busily preparing for a return to school in September for all our children.
The numbers of positive cases in Sefton has been high over the last few months. As you are aware many of our schools are seeing bubbles closing due to the number of children and young people testing positive. I want to reassure you that our schools work extremely hard to ensure that all the recommendations are in place to keep our children safe. I have visited several schools over the last few weeks and have been very impressed by the measures in place around the school.
You will be aware that the new guidance from the government indicates that the majority of the restrictions in schools will be lifted from the 19th July, however until this is confirmed this may still change. Some of our schools will be continuing until the 21st July and will continue to follow the current guidance until then. If your children are in school that week then they will still be in bubbles etc. As much as schools would wish they are not likely to be able to organise the usual end of year activities that would normally happen in the last few days.
As the guidance currently states schools will be returning to some form of normality in September. This includes amongst other things the lifting of bubbles and not wearing facemasks. However, in certain circumstances such as a local outbreak then measures may be reintroduced. Further information for parents and carers is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/step-4-update-what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges
Secondary school pupils who attend summer schools will still be asked to undertake tests throughout the time they are there. All secondary school pupils will be asked to undertake two on-site lateral flow tests, three to five days apart, on their return in September.
You may find when your children return to school that some of the changes will remain in place. This is because schools have found that some of the measures have improved the systems used and have proven to be beneficial. Please do remember that all school situations are different and what happens in one school will not necessarily be the same in another school. Please do respect the systems that your school has in place. All schools will be reviewing their risk assessments to ensure that all the children, young people, staff and visitors, including parents and carers, remain safe.
Attendance continues to be mandatory and therefore pupils should be attending school during term time. When planning holidays please remember that any self-isolation after the holiday should also fall within the school holidays.
It just remains for me to wish you all a very happy and safe summer holiday.
Interim Head of Education