As we look ahead to the coming weeks, the Government’s phased approach to exiting lockdown means we can slowly begin to reset and re-build our lives, communities and economies, with many businesses and primary schools set to re-open from 1 June.
We know how vital it is for a child’s development and wellbeing to be in school, particularly for the most vulnerable children, and that is why councils are keen to support their local schools to get more children back as soon as possible.
“Our common concern is making sure our communities are safe”
Councils are uniquely placed to know what works best for their local areas and, as there are different infection rates around the country, schools and councils must be able to work together to decide how and when schools open to more children.
The health and safety of our communities is our top priority and any decision to reopen should be based not only on local circumstances, but the scientific evidence that underpins the Government’s advice as we learn more about this disease and its impact on young people.
There are positive signs that this pandemic is easing, with the number of new infections and daily deaths continuing to fall, yet we only have to look at our care homes to know how serious this crisis continues to be.
There were 12,657 coronavirus-related deaths in care homes up until 8 May, with deaths among care workers now double the rate of those in the NHS. Every death is a tragedy, a lost family member, friend or colleague.
Whether reopening our schools or getting our care homes back on their feet, our common concern is making sure our communities are safe.
The Government now needs to provide the reassurance our communities need and continue to listen to the concerns raised by local leaders on the ground. Keeping our communities safe also comes at a cost and, as we exit lockdown, it is vital that the Government continues to invest in local government so that we can support those who need it the most.