PARENTS of pupils at two Northwich primary schools have paid tribute to ‘brilliant’ members of staff who have made their children’s return feel seamless.

Both Antrobus St Mark’s and Great Budworth CofE primary schools have been inundated with messages from parents praising them for the way they have handled more children returning to classrooms.

The schools have reopened to children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, while children of key workers and those in vulnerable groups have been in school throughout the lockdown.

And parents wanted to share their thank you messages to staff for the exceptional job they are doing in such unprecedented circumstances.

One message read: “I had no doubts about sending my children back to school, as I know I can trust the school to provide a safe and stimulating environment for pupils.

“The advantage with a small school is the personal touch and knowing that the staff are aware of what makes the children different.

“I'd like to also thank all the staff for their hard work during these strange times.”

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Another praised the level of communication the schools have committed to parents, and said: “From the beginning, Antrobus St Mark’s has provided parents with regular and clear information and guidance on the return to school.

“Any questions that cropped up were answered, which gave us comfort on returning to the school environment and confidence in our choice.

“The decision to send our children back to school has for most parents been rather difficult, and like most children, they were a bit nervous going back to school.

“But we were welcomed with a teacher’s friendly face at the gate who put us all at ease and they had a great day at school.”

For some parents, the impact returning to school has had on children is clear to see, and this is down to the commitment of all school staff.

“We decided to send our son back to school and the whole day from drop off through to pick up was absolutely seamless,” one parent added.

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“Upon returning home, he talked happily about playing with friends, burgers for lunch and too much schoolwork, but at no point was there any mention of concerns over the new approach.”

This praise for teachers was echoed by Cllr Robert Cernik, cabinet member for children and families, who says that the work they are doing is encouraging more parents to send their children back to school.

He said: “Last week across the borough, we had more than 3,000 children back in school and the number of vulnerable children going back is growing, which is good.

“From this week, we’re expecting a significant increase in offers of some type of increased education provision from schools across the borough.

“Around 90 per cent of schools will have some offering – some early years, Year 1 and Year 6 – and only a handful of schools are having difficulties.

“Some parents are choosing not to send their children back as they are worried about infection.

“But as they see what is happening with the amazing work that teachers and other school staff are doing – and they are doing a fantastic job – we expect the number of children returning to school to slowly increase.”