Ahead of the October half term holiday, Councillor Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, and Bristol City Council Director for Education and Skills, Alison Hurley, share a joint statement to schools, teachers and parents across Bristol.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to all our school leaders and staff who have worked incredibly hard to provide children with their education in a safe, well managed environment amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We understand the first half term has been extremely difficult and like no other. You have committed to supporting children and each other, and continue to play an integral role in our city. You have worked rigorously to adapt to new, challenging ways of working and protected staff and students’ health and wellbeing by complying with self-isolations, year group and school closures when required. During a very tough time, you’ve pulled together to not only keep Bristol open safely, but also ensure the education of the younger generation. Thank you all for your care and commitment.
“We’d also like to thank parents and carers across Bristol who have worked with their schools during the first term to ensure the health and safety of all students. Year group and school closures are inevitably very disruptive to your lives and we’re very grateful that families have understood why these have been necessary, in line with Public Health England (PHE) measures.
“As a Local Authority, we have worked closely with schools and PHE to support schools affected by the virus. As of 22 October, there have been 130 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students and 73 cases in staff across 74 schools and nurseries in Bristol during the first half term. In line with PHE advice, six out of the total of 295 in schools in Bristol have had to close during this period, and we thank you all for playing your part in preventing further transmission and protecting each other.
School closures during the first half term include:
- Elmfield School in the Southmead ward
- St Werburghs Park Nursery School in the Ashley ward
- Fledglings Day Nursery in the Frome Vale ward
- Mama Bears Oakfield Road Day Nursery in the Clifton Down ward
- Oasis New Oak Primary School in the Hengrove & Whitchurch Park ward
- Brislington Centre, Bristol City College in the Hotwells & Harbourside ward
“The COVID-19 virus continues to impact all our lives. The number of cases in Bristol is increasing week on week, alike the rest of the country, and we are beginning to see more hospital admissions in our region. Now more than ever, we must work together to bring these numbers down by complying with the guidance in place.
“It is still our aim that all students, in all year groups, remain in school full-time. We will continue to provide schools with guidance and support to fulfil this. Going forward, Bristol City Council will provide half termly reports on schools which have had to close in response to confirmed cases on our website to keep citizens informed.
“We hope you all have a fantastic half term holiday! Please remember to stay safe and protect each other, thinking ‘Hands, Face, Space’ and adhering to the ‘Rule of Six’. Some people may be considering a break during the holiday and travelling elsewhere – it’s important to remember that the virus does not take a break or respect boundaries. You may be travelling to areas with much lower case numbers so please consider the impact of your visit on other communities.
“Enjoy the half term holiday and we look forward to welcoming you back in a week’s time.”
See the latest COVID-19 guidance and information on support in Bristol here.