This is how Doncaster schools will look when pupils return next week with new social distancing measures in place

This is how Doncaster schools will look next week – with new social distancing measures in place.

By David Kessen
Friday, 12th June 2020, 2:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 6:16 pm

Outwood Academy Adwick has shown the Free Press what pupils will see when they return to lessons in certain year groups, with lines on the ground, hand santiser posts, and widely separated desks.

Schools are opening up beyond just vulnerable children and children of key workers from Monday, with some year 10 and year 12s set to see lessons in secondary schools, along with some reception, year one and year six pupils in primary schools. Individual schools may have different arrangements.

Read More

Read More
Planned re-opening date revealed for one of Doncaster's biggest schools

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Outwood Academy Adwick assistant principal Hannah Smith shows a hand sanitiser at the door

It is one of the Doncaster schools looking to re-open on Monday, and the school has revealed its plans for ensuring pupils are kept safe.

Assistant principal, Hannah Smith, said the school was really looking forward to welcoming more pupils back to the school.

She outlined plans to to keep the pupils at safe distances, and said pupils had been sent letters inviting them in on specific days.

Outwood Academy Adwick assistant principal Hannah Smith shows the yellow lines to help keep pupils 2m apart

When youngsters arrive at the gate, they are met by lines across all the schools pathways, each at a fixed 2m apart to help them keep their distance. Some pupils will enter at different doors to others, but when they enter, there will be a hand sanitizing point.

The school is using some of the biggest buildings it has as classrooms, including the hall to all desks to be 2m apart. Rooms used as classrooms will also have sanitizers, and specialist subject teachers will be used which may not be the pupils’ usual teacher.

In the toilet block, some of the hand basins are closed to avoid pupils standing too close to each other, and there will be a one way system.

Adam Dale, chief executive of Leger Education Trust, which runs Campsmount Academy, Askern Littlemoor Infant Academy, Askern Moss Road Infant Academy and Spa Academy Askern, said his trust’s schools were also looking to return.

Outwood Academy Adwick assistant principal Hannah Smith shows the yellow lines to help keep pupils 2m apart, and a hand sanitiser outside a classroom

He was pleased schools were going to be able to bring more pupils back after the latest public health advice deemed it safe, and said they would be looking to re-open to more children than just vulnerable youngsters and those of essential workers on Monday.

Leger had originally been looking to open on June 8, until council advice against opening at that stage came out. That advice changed yesterday, when Doncaster’s director of public health agreed it was safe for more pupils to return.

Mr Dale said: “Schools across Doncaster have worked very closely together on this, and have done so successfully. I think the local authority have managed it well.

“I think the letter from the director of health, Rupert Suckling has given school leaders the confidence to open to wider year groups.

Outwood Academy Adwick assistant principal Hannah Smith shows the toilets area where some hand basins have been closed off to help social distancing

“We have got very robust risk assessments, which have involved the unions and governors. There will be hand washing facilities and staggered starts for pupils.”

He said Campsmount will be open to year 10 and 12 pupils, with only 25 per cent of the year 10 group in on any single day. Groups of year 10s will be in Monday to Thursday, with year 12s in on Friday. He said it had been more difficult for infant and primary schools as they have less space.

No parents will be fined if they chose not to send their children back yet. The school has surveyed parents, and expects around half those eligible to return to be back on Monday, but Mr Dale believes that figure will increase as the week goes on.

Jamie Portman, principal of XP School, said he planned to extend in-school provision for Y10 and Y12 students from Monday.

He said: “Our provision will adopt a very cautious approach which will offer some ‘face to face support’, in the first instance, for those students who are most at risk of falling behind. Attendance is not compulsory, and we totally respect any decision that parents make.”

All the XP Trust’s schools, XP, XP East, Green Top, Plover Primary, Norton Infants, will extend their opening to some degree. A spokesman said: All of our schools have been open during lockdown. Wider opening or extended provision is also bespoke to each school.”

This is how seats have been arranged in the hall Outwood Academy Adwick to allow for social distancing

Teaching unions say they want any wider re-opening of schools to be done safely, and had previously opposed plans to open some schools prior to now.

Fiona Campbell, Doncaster branch secretary of the National Education Union, said: “The NEU feels that the wider re-opening of schools must be done safely, and we know schools in Doncaster have been working towards that.

“Given that there are still a number of cases of coronavirus in Doncaster and the national bioalert level remains at four, which indicates high transmission, we hope that schools will proceed with caution.

“Dr Suckling has recommended a phased approach to return, and Doncaster Council has reminded parents that it is ultimately their choice as to whether or not their child returns and there will be no fines imposed for non-attendance.

“The NEU has today written to the Prime Minister setting out a 10-point recovery plan for education which addresses the needs of all children and young people. We call on the Government to work with Doncaster Council in making this a reality for our children.”

Outwood Academy Adwick assistant principal Hannah Smith shows one of the pencil cases pupils will be given, in one of the classrooms set up for social distancing