4 June 2020
Nurture Academies Trust believe that schools should open for all children as soon as it is safe to do so. We recognise that it is impossible to eliminate all risks, including in the home, and that we can only work to manage these risks to acceptable levels. We further recognise that there are risks associated with children not being in schools and that decisions have to be made on the balance of risk.
Nurture Academies Trust will always act responsibly in the best interests of its children, staff and communities. Our school leaders have worked with the Government, Local Authority and Trade Union guidance documents to conduct thorough risk assessments and take appropriate actions to manage and mitigate against these risks in planning for the opening of schools.
Our school leaders had planned for wider opening of schools in the week beginning the 1st of June 2020 starting with children in nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes in accordance with Government suggestions. However, we postponed these plans given the statement from Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills which stated:
“The Council believes that the current advice and scientific evidence from public health means that not all of the five tests set out by government for reopening have currently been met in order for all schools to go back on the 1 June.”
The decision to postpone opening was in line with the overwhelming majority of Bradford schools and primarily responded to the concerns from public health of regional factors. The Trust Executive and Trustees scheduled weekly online meetings to ensure that this decision was under constant review and that children were able to return to school on a phased basis as soon as possible. This decision was reviewed on the 3rd June 2020 by trustees who decided to maintain the current position of opening for the children of Key Workers and children deemed to have a vulnerability and to begin the phasing in of other year groups from the 15th June 2020. This position adopts a prudent approach allowing testing and tracing within the locality to be better established alongside the other tests set by the government. We reassure our communities that we will continue to monitor local, regional and national advice and act to maintain confidence in the decisions we take.
Our schools will continue the support for home learning for all year groups and the wider welfare of families. We hope to continue working in partnership with you all and look forward to the time when we can welcome all our children back in school.