Do teachers think schools will return in March?

It looks like pupils are set to return to school in early March

It looks like pupils are set to return to school in early March - Credit: Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Teachers and education leaders in Suffolk say they will be ready to reopen schools on March 8 if given the green light under eased coronavirus restrictions.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab has confirmed that pupils are likely to be allowed back in classrooms from the second of March.

Yet while schools in Suffolk say they want children back in school and that it is the best place for their learning, they insist it should only be done if it is safe.

And a union has warned that March 8 might be too soon for schools to reopen safely.

Craig D'Cunha, executive headteacher for Chantry Academy, said: "The government is waiting on the data and I'm sure whatever they choose will be a sensible decision.

Executive headteacher of Chantry Academy Craig D'Cunha

Executive headteacher of Chantry Academy Craig D'Cunha - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown


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"We have plans in place for three different schemes in which the children return and the promise we that we'd get two weeks notice.

"We have to have faith and trust the government makes the right choice, as schools have worked incredibly hard to make facilities Covid secure, but we can't guarantee everything as you do have lots of children mixing from several households."

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The National Education Union still has concerns early March might be too soon.

Suffolk NEU spokesman Graham White said: "The economy is important but until we have ensured all staff and pupils can be completely Covid safe, we should not further extend the opening of schools.

Graham White is from the Suffolk branch of the National Education Union

Graham White is from the Suffolk branch of the National Education Union - Credit: Graham White

"It is our belief that March 8 may well be too soon to fully reopen schools and that keeping schools partially open until after Easter may be safer for all concerned.

"Pupils are the next working generation, we owe it to them to make sure they are safe and that helps to protect parents, staff, carers and wider family."

Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement next week on Monday, February 22, to confirm the government's roadmap out of lockdown, including more information about schools.

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