EDUCATION chiefs have moved to reassure parents as the county's schools gear up to welcome back pupils next week.

In line with the national guidance, they will open and put in place measures to minimise the risk of infection.

arrangements include increased hygiene, class/year group ‘bubbles’ and changes to movement around schools.

Each has had a comprehensive risk assessment.

The county council also says procedures have been developed by the Public Health team to respond to any outbreaks if they do occur.

Councillor Sue Sanderson, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for Schools and Learning, said: “I am delighted that pupils will be returning to school next week, it really is so important, not just for their learning but for their overall well-being too.

"The pressure on parents and carers to educate at home has been huge and I’d like to thank all of them for stepping up to the challenge.

“I understand that as well as excitement there may be some anxiety, for parents and children.

"We know the COVID-19 has not gone away, but all schools have undertaken really rigorous risk assessments and put in place safety measures that will allow school to function while minimising the risk of infection spread.

"This is all about striking the right balance.

“I would like to offer my best wishes to all pupils and their families.

"I hope you enjoy getting back to school, catching up with friends and getting involved with all the exciting learning on offer.”

In a joint statement, Judith Schafer, chair of the Cumbria Association of Secondary Headteachers, and Sue Blair, chair of the Cumbria Primary Headteachers’ Association said: “All schools have spent many hours during the summer break paving the way for the safe return of all pupils in September.

"It’s important to remember that risk assessments are constantly being reviewed, and will be different in every educational establishment due to buildings and locality issues.

“As well as considering the physical environment, as a priority we are working hard to put in place a curriculum that is fit for purpose, meets the needs of our diverse communities and supports our children and young people for a safe and secure return to school.

“Whilst schools may look different, and ways of teaching and learning have had to adapt, we are confident that our children and young people will respond positively not only to the scaffolding and security that calm, ordered school environments will provide, but also to the challenge and enjoyment of learning.

"Communication, as ever, is key to a successful start in September, and schools will be working hard to be transparent and open with parents and students about the challenges we will face.”

School leaders stress that arrangements will vary between schools, based on their specific circumstances but each school will explain arrangements to their parents and carers.

Information about returning to school can be found at

Information about school transport can be found at: