Camden schools to welcome students back safely
As schools prepare to welcome back pupils from Monday 8 March, Camden Learning, a partnership between local schools and Camden Council, has been working alongside local Public Health teams and trade unions to ensure pupils and staff return to a safe learning environment.
Although schools remained open for vulnerable children and those of critical workers, next week will see all pupils return to school for the first time since they closed at the start of the year.
With support from the Council, Camden Learning and Camden’s Public Health team, schools are working hard to ensure all the necessary safety measures are in place to protect pupils, staff and families.
We believe the best place for all children and young people is to be in full-time education, not only for their learning but also for their mental health, social development and physical wellbeing. So we welcome the news that schools will be welcoming back all pupils safely from 8 March.
However, the safety and wellbeing of Camden’s schoolchildren, families and staff is our main priority and, as pupils return, we also understand this will continue to be a challenging time for schools, and that staff and parents or carers will have some concerns about how schools will be able to maintain a safe environment.
I want to reassure everyone that we are working closely with all our schools to ensure they are fully supported to resume face-to-face lessons and that all the necessary safety measures are in place to keep students and staff as safe as possible. This work includes careful planning, updating rigorous risk assessments tailored to each school community and working alongside Camden Learning, local Public Health colleagues and trade unions to ensure all our staff and pupils feel safe and supported on their return.
We also know there will still be the need for digital devices and infrastructure to ensure pupils remain supported if they have to self-isolate due to new Covid-19 cases, and we will continue to help schools to manage this and ensure students and families get the support they need.
Each and every one of our schools has stepped up to the challenges presented by this virus so far and I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our teachers and staff who have worked tirelessly and have gone above and beyond to support Camden’s communities.
Pupils and families are asked to keep schools safe by:
- Washing their hands regularly
- Maintaining social distancing where possible, especially at the school entrance and crowded areas
- Following the safety measures of each school
- Staying at home if a parent or their child (or someone they live with) have symptoms and getting tested
- Walking, cycling or scooting to school if possible, rather than taking public transport
- Parents and carers can contact their schools with any questions they may have or organise a meeting with a school nurse who can speak to families privately about any concerns.
- Primary school staff will continue to test with lateral flow devices (LFDs) twice a week at home
- All secondary school and college students will be tested on-site with LFDs as they return to the classroom from 8 March
- Secondary school and college staff will also be provided with two tests to use each week at home
- Early years staff will also have access to home testing
- Staff and students in secondary schools and colleges are advised to wear face coverings in all areas, including classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained, as a temporary extra measure. At present, the guidance indicates that face coverings are not required in primary and early years settings. Any variations to this guidance would therefore need to be based on personal and situational risk assessments.
For school nurses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3317 2304.
Visit camden.gov.uk/schools-children-and-families for more information.