A big thank you to our school, nursery and early years staff!

Schools and early years providers will continue to be open for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children during another Bank Holiday and half term week.

More than 40 schools will open for the whole half term week, including more than 20 which will be open on the Bank Holiday, to make sure childcare is available in Brighton & Hove.

Childminders, nurseries and other early years providers also continue to provide vital support for young attendees across the city.

I am keen to say a huge thank you to all staff who have worked throughout the pandemic, especially noting that many are going in during usual school holiday times. Your dedication is hugely appreciated.

With a focus on schools reopening for more pupils, it is important to recognise that schools and early years provision has been available for those eligible to attend without any break since the pandemic began.

Staff are also working hard on how best to respond to the government request for reopening to more pupils. Risk assessments and individual school plans are being developed right now to look at how to safely expand the numbers of children going into schools and nurseries.

The leadership and compassion being shown at this stage and in all that has been done before is remarkable. Yet this has often been carried out quietly and without the high profile praise we’ve seen elsewhere. Again I say, thank you.

I’ve said before how the council’s advice is that education provision in Brighton & Hove should only reopen to more children when education leaders are confident that it is safe for the children and the staff. This may not fit with the expectations or timescales outlined by the government.

I hope that everyone working with our children and young people has a chance to have a break at some point during this weekend. Thank you again for all your hard work and professionalism under the most pressing of circumstances.

We live in extraordinary times. Your response has been equally extraordinary. I applaud you all.

Councillor John Allcock
Chair of the Children, Young People and Skills committee