Schools’ reopening thrown into confusion as Borough Council reviews risk assessments

At least three schools in the Borough are unable to open as intended

The Bedford Independent has received information confirming that at least three primary schools in the Borough will not open as intended tomorrow.

In line with Government guidance, the schools had been preparing to open to nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 children from 1 June.

Read: As schools in Bedford prepare to reopen, ‘safety of children and staff is our priority’ says Council

School leadership teams worked throughout the half term break in order to adhere to the government guidance, submitting their completed risk assessments to Borough Hall.

However, a letter from Bedford Borough Council sent to the schools’ leadership teams on Friday afternoon, set out additional steps that must be adhered to, following ‘ever-changing’ government guidelines.

The schools were unable to make amends to their risk assessments or make the necessary arrangements in time, and sent letters to parents to advise them that their children would not be able to attend school tomorrow.

A Borough Council Spokesperson said, “The Council has advised schools to carry out risk assessments to help them put in place measures to reduce the risk posed by coronavirus.

“Each school will need to consider their own specific risk assessment before they reach a decision about when to invite pupils to return.

“For the 20 schools in Bedford Borough where the Council is the employer and who are planning to open on Monday, the Council have reviewed the risk assessments and advice has been given to implement in advance of opening.

“Given the advice from the council on the risk assessment submitted, schools may understandably wish to reconsider their opening day in order to put into place measures to address the advice given.

“The advice is intended to best protect teachers, school support staff, children and their families.”

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