18/03/2020 - Permalink

Shropshire Council reaction to Government’s school closures announcement

Related topics: Children's services / Coronavirus / Health

The Secretary of State for education this evening (Wednesday 18 March) announced that all schools in England are to close from this Friday, along with schools in Scotland and Wales.

Shropshire Council and the county’s school leaders will now work through the details behind the Government’s announcement, to inform arrangements for the delivery of education to Shropshire’s school children in the coming weeks.

Karen Bradshaw, executive director of children’s services, said:

“There is a lot of detail to unpick and we do await further details from the government.

“However, with both pupil and staff absences the strain on our schools has been starting to show in the past few days, with many schools unable to continue to function fully, and only the hard work of staff keeping them going.

“Schools are a safe place for children, so we are positive about the focus on vulnerable children, and positive about the recognition of the need to address the free school meals issue, and of course we are positive about the need to ensure that key workers can continue to support and meet the needs of Shropshire residents.

“This announcement also creates opportunities for schools across Shropshire to work collaboratively on a localised basis to maximise resources and utilisation of staff.  This is important especially for schools in Shropshire where we have many rural and small schools.

“We have been having ongoing dialogue with schools across Shropshire, and we know that they have been thinking about solutions to the very issues the government has addressed today. We will continue these conversations and firm up on these solutions in each of our communities in the coming days.

“For a number of weeks now schools have been working on contingency plans to ensure that pupils continue to get a high quality education when the school buildings are closed.  Teachers have been preparing, and in many cases trialling, different methods of remote lesson delivery though a mixture of lesson packs, projects and online lessons. In the context of the government’s announcement, this will enable schools to support the ongoing learning of pupils who will not be in school.“