Thu, 15:01

Primary pupils set to move to secondary school in September will be unable to visit or meet their new teachers face-to-face under coronavirus restrictions.

A watchdog’s first inspection of services which look after some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable children is set to be made public, amid warnings that support has seemed “close to breaking point”.

Mental health experts in Suffolk have produced a support pack for schools to help anxious pupils through their return from coronavirus lockdown.


Headteachers across Norfolk have spent half term redesigning classrooms, measuring walkways on corridors and reconfiguring timetables in anticipation of more of their pupils returning to school.

Children are back in the classroom but school is proving both a strange but also novel new place for returning pupils.

After 10 weeks of learning at home it was back to the classroom for some children as almost half of Norfolk’s primary schools reopened for more pupils.

A group representing school leaders in Norfolk has penned an open letter to parents dispelling rhetoric that teachers are blocking school reopenings and urging them to trust headteachers.

Secondary schools should only have a quarter of year 10 and year 12 pupils in at any one time to reduce coronavirus transmission risks, the Government’s new guidance says.

Headteachers have warned children could be getting “part-time education” for some time, at a debate focused on the reopening of schools in Norfolk.

Individual headteachers and governors will be given the final say on when schools can open to more children, the leader of Norfolk County Council has said.

The Government’s plan to potentially start allowing children in reception, year one and six to return to school from June 1 has received mixed reactions.

Headteachers and the Norfolk representative of the biggest teachers’ union are set to join parents for a virtual video debate of the reopening of schools.

Almost two thirds of parents in Norfolk believe that children should not return to school until September.

Teachers and support staff should ask dozens of questions about safety before schools decide to open their doors to more pupils next month, according to the latest guidance from education unions.

Education chiefs say they recognise how “demanding” it will be for Norfolk schools to open to more children in the months ahead - and that headteachers will be best placed to decide when to reopen.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has appealed to teaching unions to work with the government to find “practical solutions” to enable schools in England to begin reopening.

A Norfolk MP has said that he is confident five-year-olds can be “taught” to socially distance in schools, despite teaching unions suggesting this is “impossible”.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Parents across Norfolk and Waveney have slammed suggestions children could return to school as soon as the beginning of next month.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

The government is aiming to see all primary school children spend a month back at school before the summer holidays, according to its updated guidance.

Headteachers have said plans for primary children to start returning to the classroom from June 1 needs to be proved to be safe and workable amid concerns over social distancing young pupils and staff.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Young children could start returning to nurseries in from June 1, with the aim for all primary school pupils to go back for a month before summer.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

A Norfolk MP has blasted the county council for failing to support vulnerable children and families, as a shock report found national failings to provide special educational needs plans are damaging children’s lives.

Reopening schools prematurely could risk creating a spike in the transmission of Covid-19, teaching unions have warned.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Fears digital divide risks Norfolk pupils ‘being left behind’ during lockdown Fears Norfolk pupils are missing out on home-schooling during lockdown due to poor internet access have been highlighted as a watchdog ranked the county in the bottom 5pc across England.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Calls have been made for younger pupils to return to schools first when the coronavirus lockdown lifts.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

Coronavirus has impacted all levels of education, from nurseries to final exams. But for many 17 and 18-year-olds, the impact has been particularly acute.

Thousands of Norfolk teenagers are facing huge uncertainty over exams after their GCSEs were cancelled.

More than a fifth of parents say they are not doing any home education with their primary school-aged children during the Covid-19 lockdown, a survey suggests.

Exams are a stressful time for pupils at the best of times, but the coronavirus crisis had added a layer of uncertainty to those who were expecting to sit them this summer.

Schools are set to reopen to children in a “phased manner” after the Covid-19 lockdown, the Education Secretary has said.

Coronavirus in Norfolk

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