FOLLOWING Warrington Borough Council's announcement of aiming to re-open schools from June 8, exact dates vary across the borough as multi-academy trusts have their say on the safest course of action.

The phased re-opening of schools will first involve nursery and primary school children in reception, year one and year six.

Secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges will be asked to offer ‘some face-to-face support’ to supplement the remote education of year 10 and 12 pupils due to take key exams next year.

The Omega Multi-Academy Trust, which includes Great Sankey High School, Park Road Community, Chapelford Village, Westbrook Old Hall and Burtonwood Community primary schools, has announced a phased opening starting from June 15 at the earliest, at least one week later than the council's proposed date.

Year six students will first return to school, with a programme of face to face mentoring for years 10 and 12.

Reception and year one pupils will then return on June 22.

Jon Wright, chief executive officer of the trust, outlined the measures that will be put in place once children return.

He said: "School life will unfortunately need to change in the immediate term.

"If children do return to school, they will be in smaller classes with up to 10 -15 children depending upon the size of the allocated space.

"Children will be allocated to a group with others from the same year group, but may not be with all their friends.

"Once allocated, groups will not change to limit mixing.

"Children may not be with their own class teacher; some may be supervised by a teaching assistant."

There will also be reminders on social distancing and staggered play and lunch times.

Meanwhile, the Warrington Primary Academy Trust (WPAT) is following the council's plan of a phased return starting on June 8.

This trust covers Alderman Bolton, Beamont, Bruche, Evelyn Street and Penketh primary schools, as well as Ditton Primary School in Widnes.

Louise Smith, CEO of WPAT, said: “We are working closely with Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council on plans for a gradual return of our nursery, reception, year one and year six children from Monday, June 8.

“Our prime concern remains the safety of our children and staff which we take very seriously.

“We will continue to adhere closely to government guidance and the science that supports this guidance.

“We have put in place a range of safety measures to ensure that the safety of children and staff is prioritised on their return. 

“Measures include transforming each returning class into a ‘bubble’ to ensure that the children and their teacher do not come into direct contact with other classes during the school day.

“Each class will operate to its own school timetable, with its own pick-up and drop-off times, breaktimes and lunchtimes held in the classroom.

“Other measures include a full risk assessment before wider opening to directly address coronavirus risks so that sensible measures can be put in place, making sure that children do not attend if they or a member of their household has coronavirus symptoms, and stepping up our hand washing routines and cleaning programme.”

The Challenge Academy Trust (TCAT) is also preparing for a phased return from June 8.

This includes Beamont High School, Bridgewater High School, Broomfields Junior School, Great Sankey Primary School, Meadowside Community Primary and Nursery School, Padgate Academy, Penketh High School, Penketh South Community Primary School, Priestley College and Sir Thomas Boteler High School.

"We are currently awaiting further Government guidance and its re-assessment of the national position due on 28 May," said Matthew Grant, chief executive of TCAT.

"In the meantime we are preparing for a phased return from June 8 in line with Warrington Borough Council's agreed approach for a gradual, managed re-opening of our academies."