Statement from Cllr Angela Mason on schools reopening in September
Councillor Angela Mason, Cabinet Member for Best Start for Children and Families at Camden Council, provides an update on the Council's work alongside Camden Learning to support schools with their preparations to safely welcome back all pupils at the beginning of the new academic year.
Being back in full-time education is extremely important for all children and young people – especially those with fewer advantages in life who have been at risk of falling behind due to the prolonged COVID-19 crisis.
Therefore, we welcome the Government’s announcement that all pupils are to return to schools in September and the Council is continuing to work alongside our school improvement partner Camden Learning as well as headteachers, governing bodies and local teaching unions to support our family of schools with their preparations to safely welcome back all pupils at the beginning of the new academic year.
However, we also understand and appreciate that this is challenging for schools and that teachers, other school staff and parents or carers will have some concerns about how schools will continue to maintain a safe environment for children and staff while also delivering a full curriculum.
This all requires careful planning, rigorous risk assessment, good management and for staff, children and parents to work together to make this happen for the benefit of everyone.
I’ve been encouraged by how effectively schools have stepped up to this challenge so far, which has meant that increasingly more children have been returning to classes this term – particularly within our primary schools, where several schools have already safely opened up to more classes well beyond the nursery, reception, year one and year six classes they were expected to admit.
We will build on the experience learned so far from local families and school staff to ensure that all children return safely to school and, together with Camden Learning and schools, work hard to support and reassure families, pupils and staff that it’s safe for all children and young people to come back to school.
I also want to give my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful teachers and staff from across our family of schools who have been working tirelessly to support young people and their families in such difficult circumstances. They’ve played a crucial role, both locally and nationally, in the response to coronavirus. It is important that we all continue to work together, focused on what is right for Camden schools, teachers and staff, pupils, families and communities.