Hugely disappointing to find that the CofE Diocese have decided to delay the opening of a huge number of Primary Schools across the county next week. Please find my joint statement, alongside Brendan Clarke-Smith and Lee Anderson, below:
"Today we have been informed that the Nottinghamshire Diocese has advised its schools not to open from the 1st of June, which is tomorrow. We are hugely disappointed at this decision and particularly the last minute nature of it, when many of these schools were ready to go. They are now having to contact parents at the last minute to inform them their kids can't come tomorrow.
The letter going out from the Diocese blames "significant concerns from Unions", which is even more frustrating. These same Unions have been trying to put a stop to schools opening for weeks, so it seems very poor to only be making this decision to block schools from opening on the weekend before they are due back. They only informed schools late on Friday, ahead of Monday opening, and some parents are only being contacted with less than 24 hours notice!! We feel that this has been very poorly handled and will leave many parents and children feeling understandably upset.
So many of the County's children were excited to go back to school and see friends, but will now be left disappointed, and many parents will be desperately trying to find childcare at very short notice.
We want to make it clear that the only children who were going back were those whose parents WANTED to send their children back, and only to schools who had been able to fulfil the requirements for safety. Parents who didn't want to send kids were not sending kids, and schools that could not meet the safety needs we're not reopening. It was a choice, and this decision by the Diocese will only negatively impact those who really wanted to go!
The Government, County Council and most of the County's schools were ready to open this week, but this last minute decision to bow to Union pressure means opening will now be delayed until at least the 8th. We are very sorry for parents and children who are affected by this, and have been given such poor notice of the decision. We would urge the Diocese to allow their schools to open as soon as possible.
We also wish to be clear that our frustrations are not aimed at the hardworking school staff and teachers, who have been doing a brilliant job supporting their schools communities throughout."