Bassetlaw MP so pleased to see children finally going back to school

Next week our children return to school and I want to say a huge thank you to those who have worked tirelessly to make this possible.

By Brendan Clarke-Smith
Friday, 28th August 2020, 7:00 am

A great deal of planning has gone into making our school environments safe and I really appreciate the efforts of our heads, teachers, governors and support staff.

This week I have also visited Outwood Academy Valley and North Notts College to see how they have been preparing for the new term.

As a parent myself, I fully appreciate that many are worried about sending their children back and this is entirely understandable.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, Bassetlaw MP. Photo: London Portrait Photographer - DAV

I have been sending my own child to nursery throughout and I want to say a huge thank you to Cherubs Nurseries, who have done a wonderful job and helped equip my son for his first year at primary school, which he also starts next week.

I have been making a number of media appearances over the last week to discuss children returning to school and one of the biggest issues was over the use of face masks.

First of all, pupils in Bassetlaw DO NOT need to wear face masks in school.

Decisions on masks are left entirely to the schools themselves.

I do not believe that pupils should be unnecessarily wearing face masks in school and this has always been my message to the Government.

What was announced this week was that we should follow the World Health Organisation guidance, which means that masks should be worn in the communal areas of secondary schools (not classrooms), but ONLY in areas of the country where local restrictions are currently in place.

This affects just five different parts of the country and not Bassetlaw.

So in effect, the policy remains exactly the same as it was before, but we have offered extra guidance for areas in lockdown and for heads who wish to use their own discretion.

The chief medical officer has also stated that the risk of transmission between children is very low and various studies have also demonstrated this.

Missing school damages the life chances of our children in the long run and it’s therefore imperative that we do our best to make sure they can continue their education safely.

Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw