SCHOOLS should only reopen to more children when it is safe to do so, a council has told parents.

Brighton and Hove City Council education chief Councillor John Allcock said schools in the area should only reopen “when their risk assessments indicate it is safe to do so”.

This potentially conflicts with Government plans to reopen Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 classes on June 1 at the earliest.

But Cllr Allcock insisted headteachers should not feel pressured by Government expectations to reopen on that date.

“The council’s advice is that education provision in Brighton and Hove should only reopen to more children when education leaders are confident that it is safe for the children and the staff,” he said in a letter co-written by education director Deb Austin, which was sent to parents in the city.

“This may not fit with the expectations or timescales outlined by the Government.

The Argus: The Government plans to reopen Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 classes on June 1 at the earliestThe Government plans to reopen Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 classes on June 1 at the earliest

“We want the city’s children to return to school and early years settings but only when it is safe to do so.

“The recent announcements have raised many questions and concerns for schools, education providers and families.

“We are working with our headteachers, governors and early years providers to resolve these concerns.

“For example, establishing safe numbers, confirming safe practical arrangements and agreeing timescales for more children to safely return.

“Schools and providers are currently carrying out the risk assessments needed to put safe practices in place.”

Cllr Allcock said he was concerned about the impact on children’s wellbeing due to not being at school.

And he claimed he was concerned about disadvantaged children falling behind.

But he argued “safety must be central” when it comes to reopening schools.

The Argus: Schools have only taught children of key workers since coronavirus lockdown began in MarchSchools have only taught children of key workers since coronavirus lockdown began in March

The city council’s announcement was praised by the National Education Union, which has criticised the Government’s school reopening plans.

Teaching unions in Brighton have urged teachers not to take part in preparations to reopen schools on June 1.

Schools have only taught the children of key workers since coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced in March.

The city council’s announcement came as Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove urged councils to “look at their responsibilities”.

“If you really care about children, you’ll want them in schools,” Mr Gove claimed while appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

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