Medway schools have been praised for their determined efforts to put extensive plans in place to enable them to reopen.
Government guidelines allowed schools to reopen from Monday, 1 June for children in reception, year 1 and year 6.
More than 70 per cent of primary schools in Medway reopened in the first week and it is anticipated that this will increase to up to 95 per cent by mid-June – 75 out of 79 primary schools.
In the weeks leading up to reopening, Medway Council worked closely with maintained schools and academies to provide support and advice to head teachers making decisions on the safe return of its pupils.
Head teachers made their decisions on reopening around classroom sizes and the number of classrooms, based on the availability of staff and outside space. With the council’s support, schools which were able to safely reopen put extensive plans in place to welcome children back into the classroom.
Cllr Martin Potter, Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, and Cllr Josie Iles, Lead Member for Children’s Services, have commended Medway’s schools.
Medway's children have adapted extremely well
Cllr Potter said: “Schools and academies in Medway have worked incredibly hard to put comprehensive plans together to allow children to start returning to the classroom. Thank you to all of the head teachers and their staff, as well as the council’s schools team, who worked tirelessly on plans for the phased return to school since the government announcement. I’d also like to commend Medway’s children who have adapted extremely well to the changes and uncertain times they too have been faced with.
“We are now working with secondary schools on plans which will allow pupils in years 10 and 12 to return to the classroom.”
Continuing to support children and young people throughout the pandemic
Cllr Iles added: “Thank you also to schools for your continued support for vulnerable children and those of key workers, and also to all the teaching staff for the support you are providing to pupils in other year groups learning from home.
“Teams across Medway Council are continuing to support children and young people throughout the pandemic, from providing activity packs for young children to holding online sessions for older teens. We will continue to do all we can to support young people and families across Medway during these challenging times.”