Nottingham City Council is to support primary schools to reopen for more pupils from Monday 22 June.

Following the successful, phased return of more Year 6 pupils in Nottingham this week, the council is confident that primary schools have the right measures in place to begin the gradual increase of small groups of children from other year groups.

Council discussions with public health officials, head teachers and unions have focused on the robust risk assessments that schools have made in line with Government guidelines.

The decision on how each school will gradually reopen to a small increase of children from wider year groups will be made by head teachers and governing bodies. Schools will be in touch with parents and carers on how this will happen.

Schools will continue to prioritise vulnerable children and the children of key workers, as they have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment, said: “We always want to be confident that the decisions we make are the right ones that are focused on the safety of our children and staff. This is our top priority.

“We have seen a gradual increase in pupils from Year 6 return to school and now feel that the schools are in a position to begin the phased return of children from other year groups.

“Key changes have occurred locally over the past three weeks since the Government gave the go ahead for schools to bring more pupils back from 1 June, including a sustained fall in the number of cases of Covid-19 which significantly lowers the risk of children and adults contracting the virus in a school setting.

“The capacity for testing children and adults in Nottingham has increased since 1 June. This is an important development in supporting schools to gradually increase pupil numbers.

“The council would like to make clear that if parents and carers choose to keep their children at home, they will not be fined for non-attendance. We recognise that the decision at this time rests with parents/carers based upon their judgment.

“This has been a long and difficult journey. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of parents and carers throughout lockdown. We look forward to the time when all children will return to Nottingham schools.”