COVID 19 Update

Gateshead Council – COVID-19 Statement

 In order to open Gateshead Schools to increased numbers of children safely, Headteachers have agreed that the initial date suggested by the government of June 1st is too early and, instead, have set a date of June 8th, at the earliest. The reasons behind this difficult decision were:

  • It is generally agreed that Gateshead has one of the highest transmission and infection rates in the country for COVID19. We are, therefore, cautious about bringing large numbers of people together in a confined space for a number of hours. Although this position may be improving, the situation remains fragile.
  • Schools have not had sufficient time to complete and consult on robust risk assessments.
  • The Government has yet to confirm progress on their five tests, which is a key condition they set for schools to bring more children into school. This is not expected until Friday 29th May which is too late for an opening of 1st June.
  • The scientific evidence is not yet conclusive regarding child to child and child to adult Coronavirus transmission. This is a significant issue when working with younger children where social distancing becomes impractical and unrealistic. If asymptomatic children are capable of spreading the virus the impact on families and communities could be severe.