Chesterfield schools 'well prepared' for 'big bang' classroom return
Headteachers in Chesterfield say they are ‘well prepared’ and ‘looking forward’ to welcoming all children back to class on Monday.
Hundreds of pupils in the town will return to school next week as the first part of the Government's roadmap out of the latest national coronavirus lockdown.
Education unions have called for 'safe and sustainable' school reopenings, while warning it could prove to be 'reckless' for all students to return at once.
However, headteachers in Chesterfield said they wanted to get away from the politics and start teaching again.
Ian Holmes, deputy headteacher at Hollingwood Primary School, said staff were ‘well prepared’ for pupils’ return.
"As a profession we are really excited to be welcoming pupils back,” he said.
"We try to distance ourselves from the political decisions and do the best for the community.”
Mr Holmes says about two-thirds of the school’s 360 pupils will return on Monday and information had been provided to parents about changes to the school day.
"There will be staggered play time and lunchtime, and we have advised on what to do if there is a suspected case of Covid.
"Some children who were feeling apprehensive about returning have been in for a couple of days this week.”
Jonathan Lynch, headteacher at Heath Primary School, said: “Our main priority has always been to have all our children back and support them in any we can.”
At secondary schools, where Government guidance 'recommends' all students wear face coverings, there are likely to be changes to the school day.
A spokesperson for Chesterfield's Outwood Academy Newbold said staff were 'excited' to be welcoming all students back.
"We will be keeping many of the measures in place from when we opened in September so, for example, bubbles will still be in place as will multiple entrances to help us follow social distancing guidelines," he said.
"We have made a promising start to testing, with those students that have consented being allocated a time slot to come in this week for their tests.
"The allocation of time slots will continue once students are back in school and the students have displayed exemplary behaviour and a level of maturity during testing.
"We want to say a huge thank you to the staff at Newbold for their tireless work in preparation of the full reopening."