A PRIMARY school headteacher is reassuring families that classrooms are safe for children who can still attend them in lockdown.

While schools are currently closed to most pupils, vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers are still able to attend classrooms.

Following an online meeting with other headteachers and Dr Matt Butler, a Covid ward consultant from Cambridge, Kingsmead Primary School headteacher Catriona Stewart wrote to assure parents that every effort is being made by staff to keep schools 'as safe as we can'.

In a blog post on the school’s website, she said: “I cannot say the following strongly enough – schools did not close because they were not safe to be in.

“The decision for school closure was for one reason alone – to prevent the spread of the virus to the point where demand overwhelms the NHS, meaning that seriously ill people cannot receive life-saving treatment.

“This means that the school workforce, children or families have no more reason to be anxious about being with us in school than before. I am no more fearful of the virus than I was.

"But I am very concerned that if the country doesn’t pull together to reduce infection there might not be any clinical workers to treat us if we do become seriously ill – with anything."

Ms Stewart says that teaching unions NAHT, NEU ASCL and NASUWT have now agreed four principles for running classes in the new lockdown:

  • Reduce bubble size to a safe enough level
  • Maintain the integrity of bubbles, keep them intact, and prevent them mixing during the school day
  • Provide capacity for home learning, with children learning at home being as important as those needing a place at school, and
  • Keep staff working from home whenever they can.

She added: “The view from the meeting I was in today was that, given the length of the last lockdown [March to June], it is fair to say there were too few vulnerable children in school and far too many slipped through the net [across England as a whole].

READ > Police release CCTV of man wanted for Northwich assault

“This lockdown we should expect, as we have planned for, more pupils attending school but for public health reasons, this should still be the minimum number possible.”

Ms Stewart also thanked families for the support they had given to her school over the past week, and said this had given her ‘every reason to be hopeful’.

Guidance following the meeting is available on the school’s website.