3 January 2021| | 3 min read
Advice for schools and parents
Statement and latest advice for parents, pupils and schools issue on 03/01/2020.
Mark Patton, Assistant Director, Education and Skills said:
“Throughout the pandemic we have supported our schools to deliver education safely to children across the city and that will continue to be the case.
“Our advice to primary schools is to review their risk assessments and we will support them in whatever decision they make. The same applies to secondary schools which will initially only open for children of key workers, with appropriate bubbles in place.
“We know headteachers and their governing bodies have been working throughout the festive break to ensure everything is in place for the safe return of pupils.
“In Newcastle, we have every confidence that headteachers, staff and their governing bodies will do what is right for their school community, as they have done throughout this crisis, and will continue to communicate directly with parents.
“We thank all the school communities in the city for everything they have done and are doing, and we will continue to support them in whatever way we can.”
In most cases the first day back for Primary Schools is Monday 4 January but, for schools with planned teacher training days, the first day back for pupils will be Tuesday 5 January. Parents and carers should check their child’s school website if they are in doubt.
Pre-school and early years settings, including nurseries and childcare providers, can also open as planned from Monday 4 January.
Covid testing is also due to be introduced in schools – starting with secondary schools – from next term. Arrangements for how this will work in Newcastle schools are due to be confirmed later this week, and parents will be updated.
Secondary and high schools
There are different return dates for different groups of children in secondary and high schools.
From Monday 4 January only pupils who are vulnerable or who are children of key workers will return to the classroom, with appropriate bubbles in place.
All other pupils will study from home, with priority for remote learning given to exam students in Years 11 and 13. Free school meals will continue to be provided to those who are eligible.
From Monday 11 January students in Years 11 and 13 will return to school with those year group bubbles re-established. Pupils in other year groups will remain at home with remote learning provided and free school meals for those eligible.
From Monday 18 January all other children in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 will return to school with year group bubbles re-established.
Children who are due to sit written exams at the beginning of term who may be affected by the changes to start dates will be contacted by their school.
Parents and carers are advised to check their child’s school website for any changes to arrangements published before the Christmas break.
Special schools and alternative provision schools
These schools are expected to open as planned from next week with no changes to start dates. There is some flexibility for return to school arrangements for secondary special schools.
Parents and carers should contact their child’s school or college if their need any further information or advice. Further updates will be given as soon as information becomes available.