Schools and learning service updates
The wider opening of Bracknell Forest primary schools starts from Monday 1 June for children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Schools remain closed for other year groups, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
Please contact your child’s school about the attendance of the specific year groups above.
From Monday 15 June secondary schools will begin to offer some face-to-face sessions for Year 10 and Year 12 students only.
Please contact your child’s school directly for more information.
Wider opening of schools
The council is supportive of the wider opening of schools from Monday 1 June. We are working with schools to explore ways of putting government guidance in place. This will enable pupils in key year groups to attend school. The council will continue to support schools with carrying out updates to government guidance as they are published. We recognise that each school is unique and will assess their own situation.
Critical worker and vulnerable pupils
The council is supportive of the prioritisation of the pupils of critical workers and vulnerable pupils. Vulnerable pupils are defined as those who have any of the following:
- have a social worker
- currently have an education, health care plan (EHCP)
- are deemed otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities
We expect and encourage vulnerable children of all year groups to attend educational provision where it is appropriate for them to do so.
Some schools have been able to open to all eligible year groups in the first instance. Others are taking a phased approach, adapting their plans as necessary. Schools are organising pupils into bubbles as a protective measure. This means that they learn and socialise together in the same groups everyday. Provision in each school reflects their individual circumstances and schools will only widen access if it is safe to do so.
Secondary schools are planning provision for pupils in Year 10 and Year 12. Face-to-face teaching sessions will be offered to pupils in groups on a rotating basis, decided by each school.
Schools will adopt a number of approaches to help them identify the needs of their pupils, as they begin to return to school. The majority of schools will focus on Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) and wellbeing, before then going on to identify gaps in pupils’ learning. The council has compiled and shared a range of resources to help leaders shape what recovery may look like in their schools.
Keeping staff and pupils safe
Bracknell Forest Education and Learning Team have worked closely with our schools to make sure of the safety of staff and pupils. This has included updates and guidance about infection control and the delivery of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - for use as required by guidance. Schools have also adopted strategies to minimise contact. These include:
- marking out of the school site using social distancing signage
- reduced numbers operating in ‘bubbles’
- staggered timings
These strategies will evolve in line with government guidance. Bracknell Forest will continue to support schools through the recovery from this pandemic.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – best endeavours
The council is working with schools across the borough, where Bracknell Forest pupils with EHCPs are placed to return risk assessments. Schools are prioritising pupils by need and the council is supportive of this approach.
As schools begin to increase access, where a child would usually receive transport assistance from the council, parents are encouraged to take their children to school and receive mileage reimbursement for their journeys.
If parents cannot do this, where possible, children will be transported with others from their pupil bubbles (if appropriate) to reduce risk.
If neither of these options are possible, lone transport may be provided.
Transport operators are using larger vehicles where possible and PPE is being worn where needed. Parents are urged to make sure children wash their hands before and after trips. Please do not send your child to school if you, or anyone in your household, is showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Primary and secondary leaders are working in partnership to consider transition arrangements for pupils. Opportunities being explored include virtual tours, introductions to key staff through virtual meeting platforms and orientation at the beginning of the academic year.
Headteacher and staff wellbeing
The council and headteachers of all Bracknell Forest schools are having regular online meetings. A recovery group has been set up and meets weekly. This provides the opportunity for headteachers to raise any concerns and seek guidance and support.
Bracknell Open Learning Centre will be open for limited bookings from August and the Job Club will be running from the second week of August.
The Community Learning service will be running a programme of online taster sessions and workshops in August, focussing on wellbeing and work. A full programme of community learning classes will run from September.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find updates on the Open Learning Centre Facebook page.