School stays out as trust delays re-opening of West Norfolk primaries
An academy trust which sponsors several West Norfolk primary schools has announced they will not re-open next week.
Officials from the Eastern Multi-Academy Trust (EMAT) say they want to review any updates to government advice before opening their doors to pupils in Reception, Year One and Year Six classes.
The move, announced this lunchtime, affects pupils at six West Norfolk schools – the Eastgate Academy in Lynn, the Nelson Academy in Downham and schools in Emneth, North Wootton, Southery and Upwell.
A trust spokesman said: "Since the government outlined the aim for schools to extend their opening wider than for children of key workers and vulnerable children, we have been reviewing how that could occur whilst complying with social distancing and reducing the risk of transmission of the virus.
"We fully understand the concerns of parents, our staff and the pupils themselves with the extension of attendance to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
"Each of our primary academies has put in place procedures and a full risk assessment to minimize risk to our staff and pupils.
"As we are still awaiting the government review of lockdown and the latest guidance being published and its implications, the Trust has made the decision that its academies will not open to all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 until week commencing 8 June at the earliest.
"This enables each of our academies to review the procedures against the latest guidance before we welcome back more pupils."
The trust also said that it aimed to "widen provision" for students in years 10 and 12 at the King Edward VII Academy and the King's Lynn Academy from June 15, subject to government guidance.
Although the target of a June 1 re-opening for primaries had been set out for some weeks, ministers have acknowledged some schools won't be ready, following opposition from many councils and teaching unions.
Elsewhere, the West Norfolk Academies Trust is due to make a final decision today on whether its schools will re-open next week.
Trustees of the KWEST Multi-Academy Trust will meet this evening to consider their officials' plans to re-open its schools.