Following on from my post at the beginning of this week about the extensive measures taken by Gloucestershire County Council and schools across our county, I thought the following update would be of interest.
Early figures tell us that all schools who were expected to open this week have done so, including those only having a 1 or 2 day week for the first week back.
On Thursday, 212 schools were reported to be open to all pupils. These schools had 51,730 children attending – a total attendance rate of 71.9% across all schools in the county (compared to 62.5% nationally) and 87% attendance of those schools who are open.
In terms of school transport, something I have raised with the Government – right up to the Prime Minister – this week has been encouraging. To match demand, where needed, additional buses have been able to have been put in place immediately, with a number of schools feeding back positive reports on how well arrangements have worked.
While this is only the first week back, and I will be watching the situation closely next week, I would like to pay tribute to the excellent work of schools across the county and Gloucestershire County Council for their leadership on this issue.
In the coming weeks, I will be visiting schools in the Forest of Dean to check in with them personally how the school year has started.