The end of the summer holidays are in sight and families across Plymouth will be beginning to think ahead to the start of the new September term.
It’s the first time that schools have been fully open since March and there are clear guidelines about re-opening that all schools must follow.
Plymouth schools have been working incredibly hard to make sure they are ready for the start of the September term and all pupils will be expected to attend.
Councillor Tudor Evans Leader of Plymouth City Council said: "After months of being at home there will be students who can't wait to go back and others who are daunted by the prospect.
“We understand that some parents may have concerns around safety for their children after such an extended period away so it’s important to stress help and support will be available whilst the pandemic is still so much on everybody’s minds.
"We know schools have been very busy preparing to ensure they have the right timetables and safe systems in place so pupils can confidently return to school and I want to recognise all of their efforts to be ready. Our schools really have gone above and beyond to support Plymouth’s young people during this crisis and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work.”
Because each school has a different layout with its own challenges, a one-size fits all plan is not the right approach and individual schools will be contacting families to set out how the new school day will work and providing practical advice.
Anyone with concerns about their child returning to school should contact the school direct in the first instance and there is also a range of guidance and support available about going back to school safely on the Council’s website.
The Council is also urging people to make sure they have considered how their children will get to school and is asking parents to complete a survey so they can work with bus companies to plan if extra capacity will be needed on certain on services.
Judith Harwood the Council’s Service Director for Education, Participation and Skills said: “For most pupils and students, walking, cycling or scooting are likely to be the best options but some people will be relying on public transport to get to their place of education. We are therefore asking schools directly, as well as parents and carers, to tell us how they plan to travel, to help us plan public transport for the next academic year.
“We are working closely with schools, education providers, transport operators and the Department for Transport to understand the demand for home to school travel, the application of social distancing requirements for school children on public transport, as well as how this might be funded should extra services be required.”
Take part in travel to school survey and to find more information about school journeys visit the dedicated school journeys page on the Council’s website www.plymouth.gov.uk/schooljourneys.