Secondary schools in Wirral have started to open to additional year groups, with new social distancing measures in place.
Years 10 and 12 have been able to return so they can spend time with their teachers ahead of GCSE and A level exams which are taking place next year.
There are three secondary schools which have not yet opened to years 10 and 12, but they are offering online lessons until Monday 22 June when pupils will be able to sit face-to-face with their teachers.
Every school will run a slightly different schedule, with some having pupils in for a few hours each week and carrying out a deep clean of classrooms once a lesson has finished.
Each school has taken precautions to keep children and staff two metres apart and signage has been put in place to remind people to stick to the government’s guidance. Schools have also been provided with supplies of PPE.
Other safety measures that have been put in place include ‘bubbles’ of no more than 15 pupils and two adults who will not mix with the other bubbles in the school.
Mike Kilbride, Principal of Birkenhead Sixth Form College said:
‘An immense amount of work has gone in to making the school environments safe. Buildings have been reorganised with one-way systems and there are protocols for wiping surfaces down even if they are only touched once. Whilst I fully understand there is some trepidation moving forward, the time is right to take a few tentative steps forward and those environments are safe.’
Currently all the evidence suggests that transmission of COVID-19 in schools remains low.