Nottingham City Council has set out its clear position on the phased reopening of Nottingham schools to pupils from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from Monday 1 June.

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment, said:

“The City Council has been working with schools to understand how we might gradually increase the number of children while keeping them as safe as possible.

“We have previously said that there was no pressure from the council for head teachers to reopen until they felt they were ready to do. We also made it clear that we would not issue fines for parents who chose not to send their children back to school.

“Earlier this week, the council decided that we had growing concerns that the right conditions for a phased return might not be in place by 1 June.

“Today, we would like to make it clear, unequivocally, that we do not feel it is the right time to bring children back to schools on Monday.

“We are advising schools run by the council through the Nottingham Schools Trust that they should not reopen to wider numbers at this time.

“This is not a reflection on our schools in Nottingham. They have done a tremendous job of working towards opening to more pupils while continuing to look after the children of critical workers and those pupils with additional needs and vulnerabilities. We would like to praise them for their efforts over the last ten weeks of lockdown.

“This is as much about the right conditions being in place – for example the effective introduction of the ‘Test and Trace’ system that would give additional reassurance on how best to manage the spread of the virus.

“We know this is short notice, but we have been monitoring the situation and wanted to wait until we were certain that it was not too soon to bring more children back. We want our parents to be confident that all steps are being taken to minimise the risk to their children. We know that this is the number one priority for our parents, for our schools and for the City Council.”