Letter to parents/carers from St Helens Council

Dear parents/carers,

As we approach the end of this unprecedented school year, we would like to formally thank you for the way in which you have worked so closely with our schools in order to support the education of your children at home – many of you while still employed in work. We would also like to thank headteachers, governors and staff who have kept schools open, some over bank holiday weekends and holiday periods, so that children of key workers and more vulnerable children can attend while still keeping in touch with families at home.

In September, it is hoped that we will be welcoming all children back to school and it is our expectation that they will all return. We know how much our children have missed attending school and we recognise the positive impact education has on their social, emotional and mental health. You will, over the next few days, receive a pamphlet from the Education Welfare Service outlining advice and providing their contact details should you have any concerns in relation to attendance. We hope that you support us in ensuring children return to school in September safe and ready to learn.

Over the last few weeks, the government have continued to provide schools with guidance materials advising on the safe return of students and all leaders are preparing schools to ensure they adhere to the guidelines. There will, as you would expect, be changes to the usual school day. Children will be kept in ‘bubbles’, lunch and play times will be different and some schools may stagger the start and finish to the school day. We are aware that headteachers have written to you separately about the arrangements and we expect that they will keep in touch with you during the summer break should there be any changes. Risk assessments are being completed over the coming weeks and school leaders are being supported in implementing these by trade union representatives, members of St Helens health and safety dept and public health representatives.

We hope that you enjoy the summer break with your families and that you keep in good health. We look forward to welcoming our children back in September.

Yours sincerely,
Jim Leivers, Interim Director of Children’s Services
Jo Davies, Assistant Director Education, Early Help and Children’s Health