More details on schools’ opening likely next week

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EDUCATION officers should have a more detailed idea next week of when and how schools will re-open.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28248245)

Education, Sport & Culture is working alongside officers and senior members of staff to try and work out what a return strategy would look like for education once lockdown restrictions ease.

Opening the schools is not mentioned in the lockdown exit framework, but States chief executive Paul Whitfield said education was one of the areas that was very difficult to predict because there were so many unknowns as to what the situation could be in a couple of weeks.

‘Exiting lockdown for education might also impact what sports clubs are open during those school holidays, but we would expect some direction coming forth some time next week,’ he said.

Extending the school term or changing term dates is ‘highly unlikely’ at this time.

Mr Whitfield recognised that many teaching staff have worked all the way through lockdown to provide supervision for children of essential workers.

He said it was important, across the private sector as well, that people take their annual leave so businesses do not have a build-up towards the end of the year.

‘Teachers are unique in that contact hours are term-time and the leave is expected to be taken and utilised in the holiday break – all that needs to be thought through,’ he said.

Currently there are no plans to change the essential worker requirement for students to attend schools, but an update is expected next week.

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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