February 24, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

End of summer term schools COVID-19 update

Thank you to all children, young people, parents, carers, and education staff for your patience and cooperation over the past school year.

Bristol City Council Director for Education and Skills, Alison Hurley, and Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet member for Families, Education and Women (Lead member for children’s services), share an end of term update with schools, teachers, and parents across Bristol.

“As we reach the end of the summer term here in Bristol, we wanted to say a huge thank you to all children, young people, parents, carers, and education staff for your patience and cooperation over the past school year.

“The impact of this global pandemic on not only education, but our entire lives, has been more hard-hitting than we could ever have predicted. Schools and settings have had to react quickly to positive cases of COVID-19, often resulting in large groups of pupils or classroom bubbles being sent home to contain the virus. I know this has caused disruption for parents, carers and, most importantly our children and young people. We are hugely appreciative of your understanding of the necessary closures and isolation periods.”

“Case numbers in Bristol are currently extremely high and rising. Thanks to the vaccination, fewer people are seriously ill in hospital, but there are increasing numbers. During this time, we encourage our families to respect one another, put empathy at the heart of your decision making, and continue to keep up with the behaviours you’ve adapted to over the past eighteen months.”

In response to the current situation Bristol City Council and city partners have taken a joint position and are recommending that people continue to:

  • wear a face covering in indoor spaces such as on the bus or in a shop, to show your respect for others, particularly our frontline staff
  • wash your hands regularly, especially on return home from being out and about
  • giving people space and respect people’s personal decisions on hugging and close contact
  • open windows when you can, and choose to leave crowded places if they feel uncomfortable
  • use regular rapid tests and come forward for your vaccination when you’re eligible
  • please continue to isolate if asked or required.

The local authority continues to work closely with education leaders, staff, and Public Health England (PHE) to support education settings through the coronavirus pandemic.

Between 7 June and 21 July 2021, there has been:

  • 1130 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students
  • 223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff
  • 126 schools with cases
  • 3 school closures

“Many of you will have seen the announcement from the Education Secretary about the new measures that will come into play for schools, colleges and higher education settings from Monday 16 August. These new measures include the removal of “bubble” systems and children under the age of 18 not having to self-isolate if they’re identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

“Some protective measures, including enhanced hygiene and ventilation, will remain in place from 16 August. We will continue to work closely with education settings, and our Public Health colleagues over the summer to ensure a safe return for our students, including those with additional needs and vulnerabilities, in September in light of the change in guidance.

“Thank you all once again and have a restful summer break.”

If you, or your children, are feeling anxious, support is available to you. Visit our website for a range of mental health and wellbeing services for all ages, or call the 24/7 Support and Connect helpline on 0800 0126 549.

Practical support for those unable to leave home, such as shopping and picking up prescriptions, is available through the We Are Bristol free helpline on 0800 694 0184.

For a detailed breakdown of the four step roadmap, visit GOV.UK.

See the latest COVID-19 guidance and information on the local authority website.