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Childcare and Schools

Government advice has now changed to incorporate the re-opening of schools for certain year groups.

Following guidance issued by the Government, schools in the borough are working to welcome back pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1 June. The decision on whether schools are ready to open on 1 June sits with headteachers and governors and we will not apply a ‘one size fits all’ solution to reopening. No school will reopen unless school leaders are confident it is safe to do so. For the latest information please visit individual school websites.

If your school welcomes back your children on Monday June 1 then it is because its headteacher and governors have judged it is safe to open. All schools have undertaken risk assessments and are introducing the most rigorous steps to ensure the highest standards of hygiene, including regular cleaning and hand washing. They will make the best possible arrangements for social distancing based on their own unique settings, supported by expert advice from the Council’s director of public health.

The support for the children of keyworkers and those who have been identified as being vulnerable, such as those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) and those who have social worker support will not change, schools will remain open and continue to provide education in classrooms for these children for at least the remainder of this term.

The Council has announced a major package of support to help schools re-open, including procuring Personal Protecting Equipment (PPE) for any school that needs it, making parks and outside facilities available free of charge to schools, expanding our flagship 'School Streets' programme to aid social distancing during drop-off and pick-up and offering free use of other Council buildings if any school needs extra space.

The Government has also asked secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges to offer some face-to-face support for year 10 and year 12 students (and equivalents) who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full-time provision they are offering to priority groups. The Council will work with these providers to ensure any such support can be delivered safely.

The borough's children’s social work teams will also be continuing to perform their crucial roles in support of families.

Social workers are currently working with all families to look at the safest and most effective way to maintain contact. Where possible and practical, visits and meetings will take place ‘virtually’, with the use of telephone, WhatsApp, Facetime and other video conferencing tools. Over the coming weeks and months, face-to-face visits are likely to be limited to those that are essential and where there is imminent risk to a child.

They will endeavour to check-in with all families on a weekly basis to ensure that children and families are well. If your child does not live with you, social workers will be able to provide regular updates on their health and wellbeing to help keep your mind at ease.

Children who have a social worker can still go to school and we would urge families to ensure this happens, to maintain routine and normality for children and ease pressure on parents and carers.

In light of the uncertainty of when schools will be able to fully open again, and in recognition of how busy schools are likely to be in September, we have decided to postpone this year’s Wandsworth Year 6 admissions test from September to November/December. This will mean that families will be invited to sit the test after making their secondary school application rather than having to register for the test. It will not otherwise impact the usual admissions timeline or process.

Visit GOV.UK for updated information on school closures and on vulnerable young people.

 

Keyworker children

Please contact your child's school directly to find out what plans are in place for children of keyworkers.

 

Under school age / nurseries / childminders

A lot of nurseries and childminders in the borough have opened from 1st June, as per government advice. Please contact your child's nursery or childminder to find out if they are open. If they are not, please contact the EECP team on 020 8871 7899 and they may be able to provide a brokerage service.