Social distancing at school can work, headteacher tells LBC

12 May 2020, 08:07

By Fiona Jones

This headteacher told LBC why she thinks social distancing schooling is an option as long as staff have a "can do attitude."

The Prime Minister released updated lockdown guidelines on Monday, which included urging more children who would benefit from attending school in person to do so. It is hoped that if all goes to plan, schools could return in phases from 1 June at the earlier.

Headteacher at Barham Primary School Karen Giles told LBC she does think social distancing schooling "can work."

This would include refreshing timetables, using outdoor areas and reducing the movement around the buildings.

In response to Nick's question of practicality, Ms Giles said teachers have a "can-do attitude" around this.

"Parents know that this is not mandatory, they're not going to be penalised if they do not send children in," she said, "we will be open for nursery, reception, year one and year six.

"I don't know about you but I haven't really seen a nursery child or a reception child socially distance so we're going to try and start with year six in our school."

There are 935 pupils in Ms Giles' primary school so if even 50% of the children return this will be a significant amount.

All other children will be able to return to school from June as the government want all children to have at least a month of school, Ms Giles told LBC.

The headteacher is not personally worried about supplies of PPE as staff can wear protective equipment all day if children are presenting symptoms but she knows some teachers will be.