Back to School: How the new rules will work

Preparations are underway for a return to school Credit: ITV News Anglia

School chiefs in Suffolk are urging parents not to stop to talk to each other while either dropping off or collecting their children at the school gates, next week.

Schools have been given the green light to reopen from Monday 1st June, but education bosses want parents to continue social distancing.

  • Find about more about the rules in place for children going back to school in our explainer below

The announcement on returning to school was made by the Prime Minister yesterday.

Schools across the region have been trying to prepare for students to return. But the Government has indicated that parents won't be punished if they refuse to send their youngsters back to class.

The protest outside Shire Hall Credit: ITV News Anglia

In fact some parents staged a demonstration in Cambridge yesterday, saying the decision to reopen schools had been taken too soon.

Schools which had reopened in South Korea closed again today after another spike in cases.

  • Watch below as Harlow MP Rob Halfon asks the Prime Minister if it is safe for children to return to school.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said from June 1, reception, year one and year six pupils would return to school after the coronavirus lockdown, joining the children of key workers who are already being taught.

Schools have been carrying out thorough risk assessments and cleaning in preparation for pupils to return and, on Thursday, Suffolk County Council's education team said it was expecting most of the county's primary schools to be in a position to open. However, it has heard from "one or two" schools which said they were not planning to open or needed a few more days.

But parents were urged to continue to follow social distancing guidelines.

"Some people won't have seen each other for a while and they are used to having a good chat around the school gates, but I am afraid we cannot be doing that on Monday. "People bringing their children in will have to drop them and then move away so that other parents can step into the playground.

Cllr Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for education

According to the council, school transport is in place for next week, and additional PPE stocks were being delivered to schools to help ensure safety for pupils.

Each school has made arrangements for social distancing and pupil and staff safety as much as possible, and education chiefs at the council said staff had worked "round the clock to make it happen".

However, it has been recognised that some parents will not feel able to allow their child to return just yet.

Social Distancing measures are in place Credit: ITV News Anglia

"We want people to have the confidence that our priority is the safety of children and staff, and we have done all we can with the schools to ensure that is as smooth a start to children coming back. Nobody has got to feel pressed into it."

Cllr Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council

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