Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment in Nottingham, and Catherine Underwood, Corporate Director for People, have written to all schools to thank them for their efforts during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We wanted to write as the summer term begins, to thank you and all of your staff for your continued superb response to the Covid-19 crisis. We recognise that the support you have all provided, from the announcement of the lockdown, the creation, supervision and feedback to all pupils through online learning and physical resource packs, and maintaining provision for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers throughout the Easter holiday period, has been outstanding.

“We also recognise that in doing so teachers and school support staff have had to manage their own concerns and anxieties about their exposure to greater risk than other professions, who may have been able to continue working remotely and with greater degrees of isolation.

“We are committed to ensuring that school based staff are able to access the PPE that is appropriate to ensure their safety and will support in sourcing supplies if schools are struggling to acquire them. We have continued to provide updated Health and Safety guidance and will ensure that any changes in guidance are communicated to all schools and academies.

“In terms of planning for returning to the re-opening of schools we recognise that this must be done with the full engagement and dialogue with school leaders. There will be many issues we need to consider, e.g. the transition arrangements in particular for Year 6 and Year 11 pupils, but also for the mental health and well-being of all pupils who have been particularly affected by the pandemic. We recognise staff may feel similarly anxious and that the push for widespread testing needs to be considered and addressed.

“We would like to assure you that we have begun to frame these questions and consider how we as a Council can plan to support the recovery process in full collaboration with you as a community of school leaders. Your commitment to supporting all of the children, young people and families in Nottingham is unquestioned. We intend to ensure that as we move through the different stages of this crisis that we do so together.”