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Latest figures show how many eligible pupils have now returned to school in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 06:15 20 June 2020

Students returned to face-to-face lessons at Ipswich Academy for the first time in several weeks following the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: IPSWICH ACADEMY

Students returned to face-to-face lessons at Ipswich Academy for the first time in several weeks following the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: IPSWICH ACADEMY

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Increasing confidence from parents has prompted a rise in the numbers of pupils returning to school - with nearly 2,000 going back in some format.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, said the increasing proportion of eligible pupils returning to school meant confidemce was rising in parents. Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk County Council cabinet member for education, Mary Evans, said the increasing proportion of eligible pupils returning to school meant confidemce was rising in parents. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council said that all of the county’s 45 secondary schools were offering some form of provision to Year 10 and Year 12 pupils in school, with 25% of pupils in those year groups returning.

That equates to nearly 2,000 pupils returning to school in some format - although many are running part-time hours or a handful of days, instead of full-time teaching in schools.

MORE: Just one in five primary pupils return to school in Suffolk from June 1

For Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils, between 14% and 17% returned from June 1. However, that number has now increased to more than a third of pupils in those year groups, the authority said – double what it had been a fortnight ago.

Mary Evans, cabinet member for education at the county council, said it was roughly in line with what it expected and demonstrated the increasing confidence of parents that schools were safe for children.

“All Suffolk secondary schools are offering some provision to their students, with approximately 25% of students in Year 10 and Year 12 returning to secondary schools this week,” she said.

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“This figure is rising as confidence from parents and carers grows.

“This is testament to the dedication and planning that school and setting leaders have done through thorough risk assessments of each and every building.

“We would urge parents and carers to be patient, as it is not possible for schools and settings to accommodate all pupils due to current social distancing measures.

“Spaces are limited and parents/carers should discuss their child’s place with the school leaders before arriving at the school gates.

“All schools are different and some will be able to offer places to more children than others, depending on the resources available to them.”

The government had already made it clear that there would be no mandatory requirement for parents to send children back if they did not feel it was safe.

MORE: Year 10 and Year 12 pupils return this week

Pupils displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or from homes where someone was shielding or isolating were also not expected to return. Many schools are also still offering provision for vulnerable children and those of key workers.

The government is continuing to work to a planned return of all pupils in September, although details on how that will work have not yet been released.


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