Camden schools welcome pupils back safely
As schools welcome back pupils this week, Camden Learning, a partnership between local schools and Camden Council, have been working alongside Public Health and local trade unions to ensure pupils return to a safe learning environment.
Although schools remained open for vulnerable children and those of key workers last term and selected year groups returned in June, this month will see all pupils return to school for the first time since lockdown.
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. It’s also important for those with fewer advantages in life who have been at risk of falling behind due to the prolonged Covid-19 crisis, so I’m pleased that schools will be welcoming back all pupils this week.
The safety and wellbeing of Camden’s schoolchildren, families and staff is our main priority however, as pupils return, we also understand this will continue to be a tough 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’d like to reassure pupils, staff and families, that Camden Learning, Public Health and local trade unions have been working to support schools with their preparations to welcome back pupils to an environment where they feel safe and supported. This includes careful planning, helping schools to undertake rigorous risk assessments and working closely with our family of schools to ensure that the necessary safety measures are in place.
I’ve been encouraged by how effectively schools have stepped up to this challenge so far and we will build on the experience we’ve learned from local families and school staff so that we continue to work alongside them as term begins to ensure that all children return safely to school.
Finally, I’d like to say good luck to all pupils starting the new academic year and a heartfelt thank you to all our teachers and staff who have worked tirelessly to support their communities throughout this time – you’ve truly gone above and beyond to support your communities.
Pupils and families are asked to keep schools safe by:
- Washing their hands regularly
- Maintain social distancing where possible, especially at the school entrance (schools will let parents and carers know what plans are in place)
- 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.
For school nurses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3317 2304.
To support Camden’s diverse community, advice and support is being translated into a range of languages including Bengali, Somali, Arabic and Turkish, and will be available from schools.
Visit camden.gov.uk/schools-children-and-families for more information.