Durham County Council has released advice to schools this morning after consulting thereport released by theSAGE group on Friday. They have advised that schools in County Durham should not bere-opening until 15th June at the earliest.
This is based upon:
• ‘evidence on the role of children in transmission of COVID-19 isunclear with a number of gaps inunderstanding’.
• ‘some evidence to suggest that children are as susceptible toCOVID-19 as adults’
• ‘the messaging to parents and teachers has to be ‘robust’ inorder to ‘enhance confidence and willingness toreturn’.
• Track and Trace procedures not yet being in place
“Although DCC has been clear about providing information toschools about rigorous risk assessments at an individual level, the publication of the SAGE papers, delay in Contact Tracing implementation, and infection rate data showing the North East asthe highest in the country, do not provide the clear higher level assurances that DCC, school communities and parents have been seeking.
The DCC position has always had the safety of staff and children at its core. Extensive advice and guidance has been issued to headteachers and governing bodies with the emphasis on reopening only when risk assessments have been carried out andfound to be of a high enough standard. At no time has DCC stated or advised 1st June as a target date for our schools to phase areopening.”
Durham County Council
A full press release from Durham County Council has been released and is shared below.
As a school, we are continuing to plan towards a wider re-opening of school to more pupils when it is safe to do so and will still be holding a further review meeting on June 3rd. We will continue to provide information to parents as soon as decisions are made.
Please note, this still does not mean that school will definitely be reopened to all eligible pupils on June 15th.At all times we are prioritising the safety and well-being of all pupils, staff and parents and will only re-open to further groups when we are in a position to do so.
Arrangements for children of key workers already in school remain unchanged.
Thank you again for your continued support and patience during these uncertain times.