North Cornwall has come together and done exceptionally well to get on top of coronavirus and I am very proud of all our businesses, constituents and importantly, our NHS staff during this difficult time.
At the start of the lockdown period, I asked my staff to work from home as per government guidelines. Now that schools and businesses are returning, I feel it is right that my team support North Cornwall directly from our office in Bodmin. During my five years as Member of Parliament, my team and I have dealt with over thirty-thousand individual cases, but it may surprise you to learn that 23% of those cases were opened during the six months of lockdown. It has been an exceptionally busy time and I am proud of our record of supporting the people of North Cornwall.
With children returning to school parents will understandably be anxious. I would like to reassure you that the government has not taken the decision to re-open our schools lightly, and we have done so with the welfare of our children as our highest priority. The entire education sector has put a huge amount of work and collaboration into ensuring the right protective measures are in place. We are doing everything we can to help schools get ready, not least with our #backtoschoolsafely campaign to reassure parents and students that schools and colleges are ready for their return.
When your child returns to school there may be one-way systems in place, hand sanitiser in some classrooms and staggered movement and lunchtimes. This may seem strange at first, but they are all measures designed to keep staff and pupils as safe as possible and reduce transmission of the virus, building on our experience of schools opening for about 1.6 million children before the summer.
It is not just in school that changes are being made — we are asking parents and students to plan for how they can travel to school on foot or by bike, avoiding public transport where they can. The government is also funding extra school transport to further ease capacity constraints where students would ordinarily need to use public transport. We know school is the best place for children to be because it’s vital for their education, development and wellbeing. The Prime Minister has set out that getting children back to school is a matter of national importance so they can learn and be with their teachers and friends and the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has made clear that this has been the Department’s goal since scientific and medical advice indicated it would be safe to do so.
I will be posting important information about the return to school on my social media pages during September, but if you have any concerns about your child’s return to school, do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.