Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information about school and childcare

Plans to reopen schools

On Sunday 10 May the Prime Minister announced plans to begin to reopen schools from 1 June. 

The Prime Minister said that children from Nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 could begin going back to school. This is in addition to children from vulnerable groups and children of essential workers. Secondary schools have also been asked to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 students who are due to take key exams next year.

We have been discussing and planning this with Headteachers, Early Years Settings, Academy Trusts, Trade Unions and other Local Authorities across the region how this could be achieved safely.

We will adopt a tailored approach so schools can respond to their specific circumstances. As such, individual schools, and school clusters, will make their own decisions about how and when they can safely open, and to which groups of pupils from those specified by the Prime Minister. 

We have worked with schools and early years settings throughout this challenging time and will continue its support by providing a risk based assessment process schools can follow to ensure they consider all the issues carefully before reaching a decision. This includes things like:

  • how social distancing can be implemented
  • site safety
  • the availability of staff and resources
  • safe transport
  • emergency procedures 
  • supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), mostly in the form of hand sanitiser, gloves and face masks.

We are clear that safety must be the most important factor for schools deciding when and how to open. We are working with Public Health England, Cumbria's Director of Public Health, and the NHS to ensure schools get the best advice.

It is important to understand that this means there will be different arrangements in different schools, even in the same area, and it is vital that you carefully read the communications from your child's school or early years setting about what is happening locally.

School transport is unlikely to be available as normal and parents may have to make their own arrangements. We are working with school transport providers to put new and safe arrangements in place but this will take time.