Read Cllr Keith Orrell's comment regarding school reopening plans announced by the Prime Minister.
Councillor Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Education, commented:
“We all want children to be in school. It is acutely important for young people to access in-person education in a balanced, structured and safe environment. Schools and parents deserve absolute clarity on plans and support available. Minister decisions must be led by data to deliver a robust and clear roadmap so once schools are fully open, they can stay open. Having access to the data which has influenced Ministerial decisions alongside a reopening plan is crucial.
“Now that the outline of a plan has been presented, minsters must use every available lever to ensure that children’s transition back to the classroom is as safe and easy as possible to reassure teachers, school staff, parents and carers that the Government are giving the support necessary to schools to carry out Ministerial guidelines. More funding must be allocated to schools to implement safety measures effectively and provide wellbeing and mental health support to staff and pupils, as well as recognising the challenge to secondary schools to carry out the testing the Government require; a review must be carried out on the national curriculum and assessment regimes; all teachers and other school staff should be prioritised for vaccination after the first four vulnerable groups and a long term plan to reduce the attainment gap must be drawn up as soon as possible.
“The Council is continuing to work with all schools through the York Schools and Academies Board (YSAB) to put in place all necessary measures to prevent the spread of infection and prepare for school reopening. York's teachers and school staff continue to do a fantastic job in incredibly difficult and unusual circumstances, prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff, and I am incredibly proud of the support that they continue to give pupils."