Primary schools U-turn welcomed by Scarborough headteachers: 'I don't have 16 classrooms and I don't have enough teaching staff for 16 classes'

Scarborough headteachers have voiced their approval of the Government’s U-turn on getting all primary school children back in school before the summer.

Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:00 am

The plans - to have all year groups before the end of July - were “not practical and not possible”, said one local head.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the proposals have been dropped. He told MPs he now wants all children back to school in September.

Overdale School headteacher and Regional Secretary for school leaders union NHAT Vicki Logan said, with recommended class sizes of 15 maximum, the plans were impossible.

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“It was not practical and it was not possible,” she said.

“I have eight classrooms, a library and a meeting room.

“I don’t have 16 classrooms and I don’t have enough teaching staff for 16 classes.

“With the best will in the world, we were never ever going to be able to do it.”

Chairperson of Scarborough Heads Forum, Jenny Hartley, who is head at Wheatcroft Community Primary School, said she was relieved the Government had changed its policy.

“Teachers realised ages ago that we wouldn’t be able to do it.

“What we are wondering is what is going to be noticeably different in September to what we face now?”

Schools across the country have been open throughout the lockdown to vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.

Miss Hartley and Mrs Logan have implemented different ways of opening their schools up to more children this month.

At Wheatcroft, pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 have been able to attend since the beginning of this week.

At Overdale, different year groups are being invited in on different weeks up until the end of term.

Both said it had been a joy to welcome more pupils back.