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Letter From Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council to Headteachers and Chair of Governors

Dear Headteacher / Chair of Governors Re. Reopening of Schools

Published 22 May 2020

Dear Headteacher / Chair of Governors 

Re. Reopening of Schools

I would like to thank you and all your staff for the way you have responded over the last two months, by keeping your school open for the children of critical workers and those who are vulnerable. You have all, collectively, played an essential part in the COVID-19 response.

You will now be developing plans to open your schools further to certain year groups from 1 June, in addition to those children you are already supporting.  You will be putting in place new ways of working to ensure the safety of your children, young people and staff.  I consider that headteachers and governing bodies are best placed to manage this next step effectively.

As Leader of the Council my paramount concern is obviously for the safety of all school communities in Wiltshire.  I therefore want to reassure you that you should not feel compelled to open to all the additional year groups on 1 June.  Whilst it is recognised that it is of the upmost importance for children to resume their education, so they can learn and interact with their peers, it is the council's responsibility to work with you to ensure that this is done in such a way that we minimise the risks to the school community.  The council will support you in implementing a phased return of pupils and students if this helps you to manage this situation safely.

Yours sincerely

Philip Whitehead
Leader of Wiltshire Council

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