The New School Day in September 2020
Posted: July 2nd, 2020
Cabinet Member for Learning and Employability
Councillor for Dove Division
2 Staffordshire Place
Tipping Street, Stafford ST16 2DH
My Ref: PW/TK 036 Your Ref: Date: 26 June 2020
Dear Parent / Carer
Wider opening of schools – open letter to parents and carers
This month, all schools in Staffordshire opened to even more pupils. Every headteacher has
put in place arrangements for their own school that ensure the health, safety and wellbeing
of children and staff. We are grateful for the work that school leaders, teachers and support
staff are doing, in these challenging times, to support all children in school and those
continuing with home learning.
We also want to thank parents and carers for the support they are giving to their schools
and the positive response to the wider opening. This shows parental confidence in the
measures that each school is taking to keep children safe.
Each school is different, meaning they all have different approaches to how social
distancing can work for the size and layout of their school. Government guidance to schools
is that children with a social worker or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) should
attend school, where appropriate. The guidance also provides flexibility for schools to
welcome back more children from more year groups but the positive response from
parents in the nursery, reception, years 1 and 6 means that almost all schools are
Our advice is to check what the situation is at your local school but please understand that
they may already have as many children attending as possible. Where children are not
attending school, we are asking parents to encourage and enable home learning through
the support the school is providing.
Teachers are working hard to help children observe social distancing guidelines and ensure
they are complying with government guidance while they are in school. For now, the
current social distancing arrangements will continue to remain the same until the end of
summer term. Parents can help with this by reinforcing social distancing measures at home.
This will be a great help to teachers.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) then you should liaise with
your school SENCO to look at carrying out a risk assessment. This will help with any
decisions regarding your child, particularly whether they will stay at home with access to
remote learning, or whether a plan can be created for them to return to school.
We are all waiting for new government guidance for the opening of schools in September.
Whatever that guidance contains, school leaders will be doing their very best over the next
two months to ensure that it can be implemented safely in their own setting. However,
circumstances may change nationally or locally during that period, and it is important to
understand that plans which are in place at the end of term may have to be amended over
the holiday, although clearly, we hope that will not be necessary.
Once again, thank you for your understanding and for working with your school, whether
your child is attending or continuing their home learning with your support.
Philip White Helen Riley
Cabinet Member for Learning & Employability Deputy Chief Executive and
Councillor for Dove Division Director for Families & Communities