80 per cent of primary schools in Essex set to reopen on Monday

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Around 20 per cent of primary schools will not be reopening from June 1, Essex County Council has said.

Boris Johnson announced that primary schools and early years settings would be expected to open from June 1.

The council has added that the return will take place on a gradual, phased and small-scale basis, allowing for local flexibility with schools in terms of class size, staffing and the constraints of school buildings.

Teachers unions have raised concerns over the safety of both staff and children in a school with Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union saying on May 24 that the “government is yet to reassure parents and teachers that opening schools from June 1 will be safe”.

Mr Johnson had earlier acknowledged that opening on June 1 was unrealistic for some schools.

An ECC spokesperson said: “Essex County Council has asked schools to confirm their re-opening arrangements for the week commencing Monday June 1.

“We do not yet have a full picture from all primary schools, but current indications are that approximately between 75 and 80 per cent of primary schools will be open in some form and 20 per cent have indicated that they will not be opening on the June 1. We will update these figures throughout the week.

“Essex County Council will not be giving out further information about specific schools. Each school has made its own local decision based on a thorough health and safety risk assessment. Each school is responsible for communicating with parents and the school community about their individual decisions.

“All schools will continue to remain open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils.”

For information about Essex County Council’s approach to schools re-opening, visit essex.gov.uk/news/essex-preparing-for-phased-school-reopening.

Secondary schools have been told to plan to reopen from June 15.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter