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Opening of Schools - Update

Dear Parents and Carers


Update on planning to reopen schools from June 1st 2020 in Derbyshire.


We have recently received noification from Derbyshire County Council (DCC) to say that whilst DCC supports the government in its ambition to open up school safely the guidance received from the Department of Education, “has not always been consistent or clear on key aspects and this has created some issues for schools and the council”.


The Department of Education has always stipulated that children of keyworkers and those who are vulnerable are key priority and this remains the case. From 1st June 2020 we have been directed to increase provision for those two groups of children.


So, what does this mean for us at Ripley Nursery School? We have already spoken to many parents about their need or wish for a school place from 1st June, however if you and your family do not fall into the keyworker or vulnerable categories then we are unable to offer you a place at this current time. We await further guidance from the Department of Education and DCC and will keep you up to date with any further changes ASAP.


Please see statement from Councillor Alex Dale below.


Kind regards,



Cathy Bednal, Head Teacher and all the staff of Ripley Nursery School.


Melissa Eggleston

Melissa Eggleston, Chair of Governors of Ripley Nursery School



Statement from Councillor Alex Dale, Cabinet Member for Young people at Derbyshire County Council – 22 May 2020


“We support the Government in its ambition to see schools opened up to more pupils as soon as it is sufficiently safe to do. To do this we’ve been working flat out to support schools in interpreting the guidance and planning to admit the target year groups announced by the Prime Minister on 10 May.


“This is an incredibly complicated issue to work through. Unfortunately, the guidance so far issued by the Department for Education has not always been entirely consistent or clear on some key aspects and this has created some issues for schools and the council.


“Due to the challenges that we’re having to work through with schools, it is clear now that many primary schools in Derbyshire will not be able to admit the additional year groups (reception, year one and year six) that the Government had envisaged by 1 June. This is because the latest advice from the Government is that children need to be 2m apart in classrooms, and that it is not safe to rota children through the week and more time is needed to work through these issues.


“The Department for Education have been absolutely clear with us that the priority remains the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable. In turn we’ve made clear to all schools that from 1 June their first priority should be aiming to increase the number of children from these groups.


“Then we have advised that they should also continue to plan for how they might accommodate children from the other key year groups (reception, year one, year six, year 10 and year 12).


“Every school in Derbyshire is different and their approaches to offering more places back in classrooms for our children and young people will vary.


“If schools do admit children on 1 June from the key year groups they will need to make sure they have the room to do this safely.


“We hope that secondary schools will be able to offer some face to face learning for year 10 and year 12 students, due to the greater flexibility they have in terms of space.


“We will continue working with schools to identify when they will be able to admit whole-year groups in the coming weeks, although for many of our schools this will still be challenging.


“I want to thank headteachers, school employees and governors who have worked extremely hard over recent weeks as they plan for 1 June. I’d also like to thank parents and carers in advance for bearing with us and their local schools while we continue to work very hard to get more children back to school as soon as possible".