Letter from Coventry City Council
26 August 2020
Our city’s schools will next week re-open to all pupils and we are looking forward to welcoming your child/children back and helping them to continue with their education.
In Coventry we are fortunate to have wonderful schools, with excellent and dedicated teachers and staff and we believe that all children need to return to lessons, not only so they can continue their education, but also for their own mental and physical wellbeing.
This is as important for young children starting school and learning to play with others, as it is for our older students who are facing critical years where their hard work and exams will help them build the careers they want and deserve.
If we all work together, we can make sure our children are able to return to a more normal way of life, continue their education and be reunited with friends in a setting that is as safe as possible. Thank you all for your support so far in helping our city combat COVID-19 and for all you have done to support our schools during your child’s/children’s education. These are, of course, very difficult and worrying times for us all – children, parents/ carers, and our school staff – and we would like to reassure you that every measure has been taken to make sure our schools are as safe as possible and that all Government guidance has been followed.
Nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges have undertaken their own health and safety risk assessments and have put in place increased health, safety and hygiene measures. The arrangements each school makes will be different because no school is the same and plans will differ based on size and layout, the number of pupils, teachers etc. Schools may have staggered starts, finishes, different lunch and break time arrangements, new hygiene routines and changes to timetables. What they will all have in common is that they are following the latest advice and guidance to keep everyone safe.
Also, Public Health and the City Council have created clear detailed plans that cover a variety of issues, such as what to do if individual children display symptoms or if there is an outbreak within a local community or across the city.
These plans follow DfE guidance and are designed to put the safety of children and staff at the heart of everything we do. As a parent or carer, you can also help make our education settings safe by:
• Not sending your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if they are showing coronavirus symptoms or someone within the household is showing symptoms
• Arranging a test if you or your child develops symptoms and informing the nursery, childminder, school or college of the result
• Ensuring children know how to wash hands, make space and minimise contact
• Minimising mixing with other people/children.
Public Health Services will also be working with schools and will notify head teachers if it becomes aware of any positive test results that affect a school.
We would like to reassure you that we are working closely together in the city, and with regional and national organisations to make sure that all safety measures are in place and known by all staff. We will continue to monitor guidance closely and make alterations where necessary, and we will keep you informed. If you would like any more help and advice around COVID-19, there is specific guidance for the return to school in the autumn term. If your child is anxious in any way, or if you have any concerns, we encourage you to speak to your school, which will work with you to ease those anxieties and enable your child to return successfully. We look forward to welcoming our young people back to lessons and to another great year for our city’s schools.
Kirston Nelson Liz Gaulton
Director of Education & Skills Director of Public Health and Wellbeing