40 per cent of families took up the offer of primary school classes this week

primary school aged child writing on a white board

Posted on: 2 June 2020

Around 40 per cent of families took up the offer of classes for their children in Devon’s primary schools this week.

Across the county, 185 schools offered parents wider access to classes in Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 on Tuesday.

More schools are planning staged openings over the coming week.

That’s in addition to the vast majority of primary schools who have been offering classes for the children of key workers and vulnerable children throughout the pandemic.

Significantly more children were in school on Tuesday than on Monday.

And schools are also experiencing a big increase in the children of key workers attending classes since half-term – nearly a third up on last month.

Photo of Councillor James McInnes Devon County Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, said: “This is the start of a slow process of children going back to school.

“I understand parents are very concerned about Covid 19 and some parents are choosing not to send their children back to school just yet.

“But the county council has been working as one with our local authority headteachers and our academy headteachers.

“Every school has done their own Covid 19 assessment.”

Mr McInnes said heads, teachers and teaching assistants had worked incredibly hard to put safety measures in place. Children would usually be taught in one place in classes of 15 or under with one teacher and there would be staggered breaks and meal-times to ensure pupils stayed in their own bubbles. Where the school lay-out allowed, one-way systems were being set up.

“You have to remember that most of our schools have actually been open throughout this pandemic with teachers looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children,” he said.

“Unfortunately we are going to have to live with this virus for some time and that’s why we have to take these small steps.

“You must also look at this in the context of Devon which has had one of the lowest incidences of Covid 19 in the country. Devon County Council is also one of 11 Beacon councils who are setting up local track and trace systems which will be tailored to every local area.

“So I think, over the coming weeks, you will see more schools open and more children attending.”

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