A multi-agency group of professionals has been set up to support Southend schools’ safe return in September in line with Government guidance.
Southend Council set up the group with the help and support of head teacher and college representatives from each level of school education: early years, primary, secondary and post-16 education.
A letter has gone to all local schools to explain the support in place and to recognise the considerable lengths that education settings have already gone to in an attempt to try and minimise disruption to pupils caused by the pandemic.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and education, said: “The teaching staff have been on the frontline throughout lockdown and the passion and professionalism they have demonstrated is remarkable.
“Now there are seven weeks to find manageable ways to enable all year groups to return to school in a safe manner from September 1. The early years setting, pre-schools and nurseries, have already returned and we are using their knowledge and understanding to advise our views and guidance through the multi-agency team.
“The starting point will be revising the individual risk assessments for each school, and from there for schools to work out ways to overcome any challenges identified and put in place controls to help pupils settle back into the new way of school life. The multi-agency group will be on hand to support the schools in any way possible.
“Come September, it will be six months since the majority of children have attended school full time. We need to help them adjust as soon as possible and we have every confidence in our schools and college leaders to help this happen.”