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More schools shun June 1 for planned reopenings

PUBLISHED: 15:39 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:25 29 May 2020

Admirals Academy in Thetford will not reopen to priority year pupils until June 8 at the earliest. Picture: Ian Burt

Admirals Academy in Thetford will not reopen to priority year pupils until June 8 at the earliest. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Schools are set to reopen to more children after half-term but more in Norfolk have confirmed they will not be ready to welcome back pupils on June 1.

The government wants reception, year one and year six pupils to return from June 1, as part of a phased reopening that they hope will see all primary pupils getting some time back in the classroom before the summer holidays.

However the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust, which has 13 primary schools across West Norfolk and Thetford, has said its schools will not reopen to priority years until June 8 at the earliest.

They include North Wootton Academy and Eastgate Academy in King’s Lynn, Queensway Infants, Norwich Road, Admirals and Diamond academies in Thetford and Glade Academy in Brandon.

Principal Linda Hothersall at Eastgate Academy at King's Lynn where priority pupils will not be back in school on June 1. Picture: Denise BradleyPrincipal Linda Hothersall at Eastgate Academy at King's Lynn where priority pupils will not be back in school on June 1. Picture: Denise Bradley

In a statement it said: “This enables each of our academies to review the procedures against the latest guidance before we welcome back more pupils.”

MORE: ‘Teachers aren’t being lazy’ - education group letter to parents defends school reopening approach

The Diocese of Norwich Academies and Education Trust (DNEAT), which has schools across Norfolk and Waveney, has said just two, Gooderstone Primary Academy and Mundford Primary Academy, will be ready to welcome back prioritised year groups on June 1.

A further nine hope to have more pupils back sometime during the week June 1-5, with four planning for children to return on Thursday, June 4.

Oliver Burwood, hief executive at the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT). Picture: DNEATOliver Burwood, hief executive at the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT). Picture: DNEAT

Twelve schools will instead see prioritised year groups return the following week, from June 8, including those in Cawston, Ditchingham, Gayton, Gillingham, Hopton, Kessingland, Middleton, Moorlands, and Thomas Bullock Primary Academy in Shipdham, near Thetford.

And four will not be reopening until sometime in the week commencing June 15, including Narborough Primary Academy, Sporle Primary Academy, Dereham Junior Academy and Castle Acre Primary Academy.

MORE: ‘Part-time education for some time’ - headteachers discuss school reopenings

The trust stresses they are planned reopening dates and may change, depending on any further government guidance, along with any local circumstances.

Gooderstone Primary and Mundford Primary Academy will be the only Diocese of Norwich schools to reopen to priority pupils on June 1. Picture: Archant LibraryGooderstone Primary and Mundford Primary Academy will be the only Diocese of Norwich schools to reopen to priority pupils on June 1. Picture: Archant Library

DNEAT chief executive Oliver Burwood said: “Our staff have gone above and beyond expectations in order to support the return of more children to academies in DNEAT.

“By June 8, 24 of our academies, across Norfolk and Waveney, are planning to re-open. This will support parents as they return to work in greater numbers and will ensure that these children can catch up on the education and social aspects of school that they have missed.

“A thorough risk assessment process means that parents and staff can be assured that these settings are as safe as possible to re-open.”

St Benet’s Multi-Academy Trust has said Harleston Primary Academy will begin a staggered return on June 3, with all prioritised year groups back on June 5.

However all prioritised year groups will not return to Diss Infants, Diss Juniors and Dickleburgh Primary until June 8.

MORE: Secondary schools to only open to quarter of pupils at one time

Schools closed on March 20, except for key workers’ children and vulnerable children, as Covid-19 spread in the UK.

In secondary schools up to a quarter of year 10 and year 12 will be allowed some “face-to-face contact” to help prepare for exams from June 15.

Eastern Multi-Academy Trust said its two secondary schools, King Edward VII and King’s Lynn Academy, would open on 15 subject to “careful risk assessments and ensuring we have the procedures in place to minimize risk”.

St Benet’s Multi-Academy Trust said Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston would also open on June 15 as per government guidance.


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