Teachers in Wakefield 'working tirelessly' to prepare for thousands of pupils to return to the classroom amid first easing of Covid restrictions

A Wakefield principal says staff have been working "tirelessly" to prepare for thousands of students to return to the classroom for the first time since Christmas.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 10:20 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 10:31 am

“Schools should have children in them. We can’t wait for the children to come back.”

That’s the message from Wakefield’s teachers, who are working tirelessly to prepare for students to return to the classroom.

Under plans announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, school pupils of all ages will be expected to return to the classroom from Monday.

A Wakefield principal says staff have been working "tirelessly" to prepare for thousands of students to return to the classroom for the first time in almost four months. Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
A Wakefield principal says staff have been working "tirelessly" to prepare for thousands of students to return to the classroom for the first time in almost four months. Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

New rules, including twice-weekly testing for staff, secondary school pupils and their household members, and guidance encouraging the use of facemasks when indoors, will be in place to limit the spread of the virus, alongside previous advice on social distancing and keeping students in class “bubbles” to limit social contact.

Lisa Allott, Principal at Outwood Academy Freeston in Normanton, said staff had been working “tirelessly” to prepare for Monday’s return.

Staff at the school are offering students the chance to visit school and receive their first Covid-19 test this week, in an effort to keep the return to school as smooth as possible.

And Lisa says that, despite some natural anxiety, staff and students are looking forward to returning to the classroom.

She said: “The systems of return are basically the same as they were in September, with the one way system, the year group bubbles. So it’s a much easier return than when we had to put that in place.

“We can’t wait to get everybody back in the building. We want to teach students and be able to see them and have conversations with them.

“What people want is to be in school. They want to be back in school, back in lessons. They want to be with their friends.

“We are obviously planning for a really safe return for students and staff and that is our absolute priority, that we have a successful, positive return.

“But from a staff perspective we just want to be back and teach. We just can’t wait.

“Like with anything people will be nervous, but it is about getting through as safely as possible and getting back to teaching and education.

“Schools should have children in them. We can’t wait for the children to come back.”