Published Friday, 28th August 2020
Councillor Ruth Dombey's column from our Sutton Scene newsletter, Friday 28 August.
Now that the Government has decided it is safe for children to return to school next week, I know that all of our borough schools are working hard to make the necessary adaptations and reassure parents and pupils about the new arrangements. Sutton Council is helping all our schools, colleges and early years settings to prepare for the new term.
As a governor at a local primary school, I know how much work is involved and I'm grateful to all our Heads, teachers, support staff and governors for the efforts they are making to ensure a safe learning environment. I have spoken to parents and carers who have told me that their children are eager to get back to school, see their friends again and return to more structured learning. Congratulations to all those who discovered the joys and frustrations of home schooling - you've done an amazing job.
I realise that some of you may have concerns about the return to school. But I know you'll agree that it is important for children and young people to go back for their own wellbeing, their wider development and for their educational progress. The Government has ruled that school and college attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year - this means there is a legal duty on parents and carers of school-age children to send them to school regularly. However, where children are not able to attend school because parents are following medical or public health advice, the absence will not be penalised.
Find out about how the Council is working with schools and education settings on the website. If you need more information about the specific arrangements at your child's school, please contact them directly.
I wish everyone a safe and happy return to school and college.
Councillor Ruth Dombey
Leader of Sutton Council