Cheshire East Council is working with schools to put additional measures in place to make school drop-off and home times safer for pupils, parents and teachers.
Schools in Cheshire East have seen a positive start to the autumn term, despite Covid-19. Attendance has been high and measures planned and put in place over the summer, to minimise the risks of Covid, have been largely successful so far.
Now, following a few days of full opening for many schools, the council is working to support schools in refining arrangements to further improve safety. This includes considering allowing parents to enter the school playground when dropping off and picking up.
Councillor Kathryn Flavell, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Schools, pupils and parents are doing a fantastic job in getting back to school safely.
“We’ve now had a few days to see how all the plans are working. Schools are adapting and amending arrangements where improvements can be made.
“For some schools, this may include allowing parents to enter the playground at drop-off and home time. While Department for Education (DfE) guidance is that parents should not enter the playground, we know that, for some schools, allowing this will enable better social distancing and actually improve safety.
“Some schools are seeing congestion at the school gates and on footpaths, with people walking in both directions due to staggered start and finish times, meaning social distancing is difficult or impossible.
“In these circumstances, we have asked schools to advise parents to adopt a one-way system, where possible, with parents using one footpath to access school and the pavement on the other side of the road to leave school. We appreciate this may not possible in all cases.
“Allowing parents into the open space of a playground may, in some cases, help to give the space required to maintain social distancing at busy times. Schools will need to risk assess these new arrangements and will advise parents if they change their arrangements.
“If this is implemented at your school, I would ask you to use the space to maintain social distancing and help each other to stay safe when moving around.
“We have asked DfE for further clarification and await their response.”