4th Dec, 2020

Campaign launched to get children across Worcestershire ready to return to school next month

A CAMPAIGN has been launched across the county to help students and parents prepare for a safe return to school when the new academic year begins next month.

The drive, organised by Worcestershire Children First and Worcestershire County Council, will inform students and their carers/parents about the new measures being put in place to ensure safety of staff and students.

Children and young people will learn, play and socialise in specific groups known as ‘bubbles’ throughout the school day, with regular opportunities for hand-washing and cleaning of frequently used surfaces.

If children or members of their household are showing any Covid symptoms, pupils should not go to school and tests booked via the the official Coronavirus test booking site.

Sarah Wilkins, Director of Education and Early Help for Worcestershire Children First said: “Starting or returning to school in September is a priority for development, achievement and enjoyment of Worcestershire’s children and young people.

“We want to reassure children, young people and parents and carers that we are continuing to do all we can to make sure that the returning to school experience is as safe and stress free for everyone as possible.”

She added she appreciated the pandemic has disrupted learning and school life for all involved and everyone were looking forward to welcoming children, young people and education staff back safely in September.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said: “This campaign provides a range of information and advice to help children and young people transition back into school smoothly and safely.

“I’d encourage all of our students, if they begin to feel unwell or develop symptoms whilst at school, please tell a member of staff.

“We are ready to respond and support schools and parents and carers if there are any positive cases in schools.”

Starting school for the first time can be an exciting time but can also be daunting for both the child and the parents.

Yesterday in a statement the Government and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty issued a statement saying the current global pandemic meant there were no risk-free options, but it was important that parents and teachers understood the balance of risks to achieve the best course of action for their children.

“We are confident multiple sources of evidence show a lack of schooling increases inequalities, reduces the life chances of children and can exacerbate physical and mental health issues.

“School improves health, learning, socialisation and opportunities throughout the life course including employment. It has not been possible to reduce societal inequalities through the provision of home-based education alone.

“School attendance is very important for children and young people.

“We are confident in the extensive evidence that there is an exceptionally small risk of children of primary or secondary school age dying from Covid-19.

“The infection fatality rate (proportion of those who are infected who die) for those aged five to 14 is estimated at 14 per million, lower than for most seasonal flu infections.

“Every death of a child is a tragedy but Covid-19 deaths in children and teenagers are fortunately extremely rare and almost all deaths are in children with significant pre-existing health conditions.”

Visit worcestershire.gov.uk/readyforschool for tips on how to get children ready to start school and make the most of the learning experience offered.

The campaign will be supported by a social media campaign with #ReturntoSchool #ReadyforSchool

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