How many schools opted not to open in Suffolk today?

Boy writing in a notepad doing his school work spelling or homework

Suffolk school leaders are taking decisions on whether to open their school - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Around 20 schools in Suffolk which were expected to be open today opted not to open fully as a result of Covid-19, according to latest figures.

Suffolk County Council's education team said decisions on whether to open were being made by individual school leadership teams and academy trusts, but while many did not open up to all year groups provision was still in place for children of key workers and vulnerable youngsters.

Conservative cabinet member for education Mary Evans said: "They all each take their own view but we are talking to school leaders all the time.

Mary Evans has served key roles at Suffolk County Council as deputy leader and with cabinet positions in education and...

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education Mary Evans said the council was working with schools

"We have all worked together to support the school leaders during the pandemic and we don't want to break that supportive, collaborative approach.

"The school leadership teams know their schools best."

While some have not opened to pupils coming in, many are still carrying out remote classes. Many schools were also on professional development days were only staff were in school.

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Mrs Evans said the council had taken the "deliberate decision where the view has been the best place for children is in school but there will be parents very wary and very nervous so we expect schools to be sensitive for non-attendance."

If parents are fearful of sending their child back to school, they should inform the school of their intention, the council said.

It is understood some schools which may be due to open on Wednesday are poised to consider an announcement tomorrow, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to address the nation at 8pm tonight which may contain national directives on school openings.

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Mrs Evans said provision of home to school transport and free school meals vouchers were also continuing undisrupted.

Suffolk County Council Labour councillor Jack Abbott is also the county spokesperson for Children's Services, Education...

Jack Abbott from SCC's Labour group said it was another zero hour decision. - Credit: Archant

However the council's opposition Labour group education spokesman, Jack Abbott, raised concerns over the handling of the situation. He said: “The Government has created chaos and left headteachers with impossible choices to make. Over and over again Boris Johnson, Gavin Williamson and co. have let problems run out of control, until they are forced into action when it’s too late.

“As we have been calling for months, the Government must now finally provide laptops and IT equipment to all pupils who need them. They must also urgently vaccinate all teachers and support staff.

“This pandemic would have tested any leader, but this Government has failed every major test that they have been faced with. his will have generational consequences for education.”

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