County Council supports Hemel Hempstead's re-opened schools

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Hertfordshire County Council has been working to support the county's re-opened schools

Teachers, support staff, parents and children have been supported by the county council during their phased return to primary school.

School communities are working with the county council to facilitate a safe and welcoming return to school for nursery, reception, year one and year six pupils, after weeks of isolation due to Covid-19.

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Many schools remained open throughout the lockdown period for vulnerable children and those with keyworker parents, but pupils from eligible year groups returned last Monday (June 1).

Books to help children through the pandemicBooks to help children through the pandemic
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Schools across the county are logging their attendance data directly with the Department for Education (DfE) who published this data for the first time on Tuesday, June 9.

The county council had data for 340 of its primary age schools, 81 per cent of the 419 primary schools in the county.

There are a number of reasons why some schools did not enter data, such as having inset days or cleaning days, so there were fluctuations.

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At least 75 per cent of all Hertfordshire primary schools were open for one or more of the specified year groups (nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6), as well as key workers and vulnerable children, whilst also supporting distance learning.

This compares favourably to the national picture, as DfE believe just over half of schools were open at 51%. Not all children were able to get into school each day, and in some cases parents opted to keep them at home. But where schools were open, 35% of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils on average attended school.

Cllr Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries and Localism said: “This is another excellent performance by Hertfordshire schools. The large majority of our primary schools were open for at least one of the relevant age groups — Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

“There have been many planning challenges to ensure the safety of pupils and staff, with schools completing risk assessments beforehand, covering logistics, grounds, classroom space and looking at ways to manage staff and children safety.

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“A big thank you to our wonderful teachers and support staff for their incredible support throughout the Covid-19 crisis. There have been many positive reports about how excited many young pupils have been to return to their schools.”