SECONDARY schools in Winsford and Middlewich have set out their plans on how year 10 students could return before the summer holidays.

Middlewich High School will close entirely for two weeks from Monday to complete building work and prepare the site for social distancing.

Headteacher Heidi Thurland has sent letters to parents this week, explaining that the school only expects to open to students in year 10 during the summer term, although this may be stopped by Government if the rate of coronavirus infection increases.

Ms Thurland said: "As a school it is our express aim to ensure that we offer the safest provision possible to ensure that risk to staff and students is minimised.

Winsford Guardian:

"We have carefully consulted with staff, governors, unions and Public Health England to find the safest way to open our school. Extensive planning is underway to ensure that this is the case."

Site work began on Monday to complete building work on reception areas, toilet facilities, design technology classroom access and to address issues with the school roof.

It has been open to key workers' children in the pandemic, but will be closed entirely from May 25 to June 5, with a view to reopening for those students on June 8.

Classrooms and workspaces will also be remodelled for social distancing, with a view to welcoming back year 10 pupils on two days a week from June 15 if it is safe.

Half the year would attend from 10am to 1.15pm on Tuesday and half at the same time on Thursday before the summer holidays, with face-to-face lessons on English, maths and science.

Thorough cleaning of the school will take place on days when year 10 pupils are not attending, although the children of key workers will continue to attend from 8.30am to 3pm each day.

READ > Winsford primary schools to open on June 1 if headteachers consider it safe

Two-metre spacing would be enforced, no more than 12 pupils will be in a class and additional hand washing facilities will be provided.

Ms Thurland added: "We recognise that social distancing within schools is going to be a challenge, however we have carefully thought through some solutions to this.

"I hope this reassures you that we are doing everything we can to offer a safe provision."

Meanwhile, Fallibroome Trust – which runs Winsford Academy – says it will decide on May 29 whether it is safe to make a phased reopening for year 10 from June 8.

Implementation plans will be considered tomorrow, May 21, before parents are consulted ahead of a trustee meeting next Friday – one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to provide an update on the pandemic.

Peter Rubery, chief executive of Fallibroome Trust, said: "Parents and staff will be aware that the only point of agreement among all parties is that strict social distancing is impossible in schools.

"Our implementation plans are therefore designed to reduce the risk of infection but cannot remove it.

"In such circumstances parents and colleagues will make their own judgement about the acceptance of risk."

Both schools will keep parents and carers informed.