Early picture of West Sussex pupils returning to school ‘extremely positive’

More than 96 per cent of primary school children in West Sussex returned to class on Monday as the full return to school began nationally.

Attendance at all primary and secondary schools in the county was 72 per cent, higher than both the regional and national average as secondary schools begin the testing of pupils prior to them returning.

Nigel Jupp, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The early picture for West Sussex is extremely positive. I have heard and seen some great and creative examples of how our schools have been welcoming back their pupils and I am reassured by all of the protective measures in place.

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“I cannot thank teachers, school staff, students and their families enough for responding to the many challenges of COVID-19 so far. I urge everyone to continue following the guidelines to ensure that this week marks the first major step out of lockdown.”

Socially distanced year group bubbles are back to school pics at St. Mark’s CE Primary School in Staplefield. Pic Steve Robards SR2103091 SUS-210903-141315001

The County Council will work with West Sussex schools, who will be given a range of support including funding to identify and support pupils who have gaps in their learning.

West Sussex County Council is also introducing new mental health staff to support pupils with their emotional wellbeing in schools, with more information to be provided shortly.

Students and their families can find information and the latest advice on education in West Sussex, including on testing and the use of face coverings, on the County Council’s website.

Full West Sussex attendance figures for Monday, 8 March 2021:

West Sussex had an attendance of 72 per cent from a response rate of returns of 73.8 per cent of schools.

Primary: WS 96.4 per cent

Secondary: WS 34.3 per cent