Council says more schools may have to close as cases continue to rise in Hertfordshire
Primary schools will be welcoming back pupils this week for the first time this year
Hertfordshire County Council will offer advice and guidance on a case-by-case basis as it accepts that more schools may remain closed as cases continue to rise in the county.
Primary schools in Dacorum were given the go-ahead to open by the Government despite a rise in coronavirus cases and the borough falling under Tier four.
Primary schools in Broxbourne, Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Watford will remain shut to most pupils but they will be open for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.
In a statement posted on Sunday, Hertfordshire County Council said: "Hertfordshire County Council recognises that, where schools are not confident that they will be able to open and operate safely and effectively due to insufficient teaching staff on Monday 4th January, we will offer advice and guidance on a case-by-case basis and accept that for operational reasons the school may need to remain closed.
"We expect that children of critical workers will continue to attend school, and also vulnerable children.
"Hertfordshire County Council notes the firm expectation of the Prime Minister and the Department of Education that schools will remain open wherever possible and is not advising schools to close on Monday as a matter of policy or infection control, unless located in an area identified by the Government's Contingency Framework.
"We will expect schools to assess their positions on Monday in relation to staffing levels and then plan ahead for the rest of the week.
"We would anticipate that schools will use their normal communications to advise parents of the arrangements for their individual schools.
"We fully appreciate that these are difficult and concerning times for people, however, we do need to consider the importance of education for children of all ages and the mental, behavioural and social benefits that come from being in a school environment.
"Our continued thanks to our school Heads and all the school staff for their constant and incredible work in providing education for all our young people."