Village News

Christmas Lights

200520 | Should children go back to school on 1st June? It’s nothing to do with us, says Cornwall Council

Should children go back to school on 1st June? It’s nothing to do with us, says Cornwall Council

Posted By Julia Penhaligon on 20th May 2020

By Julia Penhaligon

With less than two weeks to go before the government’s “back to school” deadline, parents and teachers in Cornwall still have no idea if classrooms will re-open on 1st June. Some are planning to open while others say the continuing Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic makes it too dangerous, putting children, staff and whole local communities at risk.

The issue has divided opinion between those who fear the psychological harm, to young children, of isolation outweighs the risk of transmitting a deadly virus. The government is still refusing to publish, in full, its scientific advice – with scientists insisting that the question is a political judgement. With Cornwall Council still refusing to hold meetings, elected local councillors have had no opportunity to express an opinion.

Unlike some local authorities, Cornwall Council is washing its hands of responsibility and leaving decisions to individual headteachers and governors. The vast majority of schools in Cornwall now are autonomous academies, answerable directly to Whitehall, and County Hall could not instruct them whether to open or remain closed even if it knew what to say. The boards of each of these academies are now studying legal advice as they try to assess their own individual liability in the event that re-opening their school leads to a death.

Of the 270 schools in Cornwall, less than 10% are still run by the council, and most of these are primary schools.

Nevertheless more than a dozen local councils around the country, supported by teaching unions, are set to defy the government and encourage more than 1,500 schools to remain closed.


Cornwall Council's Sally Hawken told BBC Radio Cornwall that each school would have to make its own decision about whether or not to re-open on 1st June

Some of the rebel councils are Conservative-controlled. But the Liberal Democrat-Independent coalition which runs Cornwall Council is hoping to avoid conflict with Whitehall by leaving the “life-or-death” decision to local headteachers.

The council’s cabinet portfolio holder for schools, Independent councillor Sally Hawken, said each school would have to make its own decision. She told BBC Radio Cornwall that schools were each carrying out their own risk assessment, studying factors such as classroom size and how teachers might organise social distancing between pupils, and any particular vulnerabilities within staff, such as diabetes which is now recognised as a specific risk.

Scientists and doctors have said that schools should reopen “where it is safe to do so” – saying that a robust test-and-trace regime is crucial. But testing for Covid-19 still remains very patchy around the country, with Cornwall still one of the least-tested areas.




Via Cornwall Reports

No pop-ups, no click-bait, just quality independent journalism with no adverts on news pages

Subscribe to for less than 9 pence/day, or pay-as-you-go for only 20 pence/article. Journalism has value. #CornwallReports

Book page

240214 | Hayle North Quay development collapse sees eight companies go bust Work has ground to a halt on the blocks of flats 2 days 8 hours agoBook page
240220 | Poling works | Grist Lane and Marsh Lane, Angarrack | expected 20 Feb 2024 0830-1630, for one day 2 weeks 1 day agoBook page
231130 | Are you ready for weekly food waste recycling? | Food Waste, Recycling and Rubbish Collection Changes 10 weeks 6 days agoBook page
230821 | People of Cornwall town 'thrown under bus' over housing plan | direct result of councillors handled Hayle masterplan 26 weeks 6 hours agoBook page
230817 | When will new rubbish collection changes start, Cornwall 26 weeks 5 days agoBook page
230809 | Holiday park in Cornwall for emergency housing still empty | Sandbank site purchased Cornwall Council in Jan 2022 27 weeks 4 days agoBook page
230811 | Decision on huge solar farm at Carnhell Green: refused 27 weeks 4 days agoBook page
230809 | Nearest NHS dental practice to Cornwall taking new patients 27 weeks 4 days agoBook page
230730 | Practice Comparison: Praze-An-Beeble Surgery; Bodriggy Health Centre | 2023 GP Patient Survey 29 weeks 2 days agoBook page
230728 | Woman dies in fatal collision on A30 at Loggans, near Hayle 29 weeks 2 days agoBook page
230630 | Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust cares for 25 patients with Covid-19 in hospital 33 weeks 4 days agoBook page
230629 | CORNWALL has had the highest number of storm overflow spills in the UK, according to new analysis 33 weeks 5 days agoBook page

Jeremy Rowe LD | Egloshayle, St Breock, St Ervan, St Eval, St Issey, St Mabyn & St Tudy