Brighton & Hove City Council statement - reopening schools

The chair of the council's children, young people and skills committee, Councillor John Allcock, has made the following statement regarding the reopening of schools in Brighton & Hove.

"Our city’s schools and early years providers continue to do a magnificent job opening for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and we thank them for their hard work during a prolonged challenging time. 

"Our advice continues to be that schools and council nurseries should only reopen to more children when it’s safe to do so, following risk assessments and detailed planning so that we can make sure they are as safe as possible for children, school staff and the wider community. 

"We are acting on advice from our public health colleagues and there are reasonable concerns that the government’s five key tests have not all been met locally.

"In particular we are not confident that the test around effective testing and tracing is currently met given the very recent introduction of the government’s Test and Trace programme, especially in a city with a high visitor footfall such as ours.

"Therefore our current advice to Brighton & Hove schools and council nurseries is that they should not open more widely for pupils on 1 June. 

"While education is hugely important for our children, the council’s position has always been that the safety and welfare of our children, school staff and wider community has to be our paramount consideration.

"The decision on whether to open an individual school lies with the head teacher, in consultation with the chair of governors, but we would encourage schools to follow our advice. 

"This advice will be kept under constant review by the council as we are keen for schools to reopen to more children - but only when it is safe to do so."