All of Westminster’s primary schools are now open and are welcoming back many children in reception, Year 1 and Year 6, plus children who are vulnerable or whose parents are key workers. Many students in Year 10 and 12 are also now returning to secondary school or college for face-to-face teaching.
Westminster City Council has been working very closely with primary and secondary headteachers and have been in constant contact with them during the COVID-19 crisis to offer support and guidance.
This includes working with headteachers to ensure risk assessments are carried out and measures are in place to keep classrooms safe for children and members of staff.
Measures we’ve put in place to help staff, parents and children make their way into school safely are ‘Schools Streets’. In Westminster, 11 primary schools now have temporary ‘School Streets’, which is part of the Council’s overall ActiveStreets programme, and many more may also be in introduced in the coming weeks.
In response to COVID-19, Westminster City Council have worked with these schools to ban cars from surrounding areas at certain times of the day, to free congestion around the school and to ensure social distancing.
The measures are in place for up to an hour or hour-and-a-half in the morning and afternoon during the school drop-off/collection time, Monday to Friday and term-time only. The restrictions on traffic around the schools will allow people to safely walk, cycle or scoot to school.
Cllr Timothy Barnes, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I’m pleased to see that hundreds of children in Westminster who are eligible, have now returned to primary school or early years provision. I’m also delighted to now see the return of secondary school options for Years 10 and 12.
“As has been the case throughout the lockdown period, all Westminster schools are open and are welcoming all children of every year group with special educational needs and disabilities as well as those with parents and carers that are key workers.
“For many children who can attend, going back to school isn’t just about developing their education, it’s also extremely beneficial for their emotional, social and behavioural wellbeing. I encourage parents and carers to contact their local school to discuss the measures they've put in place so they can make a confident decision about their child returning to school.”
Head of School at the Robinsfield and George Eliot Federation, Cory Mclauchlan, said: “Welcoming more children back into school has gone remarkably well and the community has been right behind us. The children’s safety is always our number one priority and our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown, as we’ve been open this whole time, to ensure all the measures are in place to have many more of our pupils back.
“The children have been exceptional and have really taken on the new challenges they’ve been presented with.”
Please visit https://fisd.westminster.gov.uk/kb5/westminster/fis/advice.page?id=mBrQC... to find out the provisions on offer at our local schools.