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Letter to Parents regarding wider re-opening

Nottingham City Council
Loxley House
Station Street
Nottingham NG2 3NG
17 June 2020
Dear parent/carer
Phased return of more children to Nottingham schools from 22 June
We are writing to you regarding the phased reopening of primary schools to more children from Monday 22 June.
Following the successful, phased return of more Year 6 pupils this week, we are confident that primary schools have the right measures in place to begin the gradual increase of more groups of children.
Our discussions with public health officials, head teachers and unions have focused on the robust risk assessments that schools have made in line with government guidelines.
The decision on how your school will gradually reopen to a small increase of children from wider year groups will be made by your head teacher and governing body. Your school will be in touch with you about how this will happen.
Schools will also continue to prioritise vulnerable children and the children of key workers, as they have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have always wanted to be confident that the decisions we made are the right ones at the time. The safety of our children and staff has always been our top priority.
Key changes have occurred locally over the past three weeks since the Government gave the go ahead for schools to bring more pupils back from 1 June:
1. Nottingham has seen a sustained fall in the number of cases of Covid-19 which significantly lowers the risk of children and adults contracting the virus in a school setting
2. The capacity for testing children and adults in Nottingham has increased since 1 June. This is an important development in supporting schools to gradually increase pupil numbers
3. Scientific evidence from the independent SAGE committee pointed to the potential fall in the infection rate by waiting a further three weeks from the proposed original date of the 1 June.
The council would also like to make clear that if parents and carers choose to keep their children at home, they will not be fined for non-attendance. We recognise that the decision at this time rests with parents/carers based upon their judgment.
This has been a long and difficult journey. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of parents and carers throughout lockdown. We look forward to the time when all children will return to Nottingham Schools.
Councillor David Mellen Councillor Neghat Khan Leader of the Council Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Nottingham City Council Employment and Education