Merton Schools Open Up For Pupils, With More Capacity To Come

It is up to parents whether they decide to send their children back or not

Eleanor Stringer

Some primary schools in Merton are preparing to open up to more pupils from next week.

After two months at home, some children in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 may be able to return to school today (June 1).

In Merton it was be down to individual schools to decide when to open and to how many pupils.

For some schools it will meant only allowing a few pupils in each day to enable social distancing.

And it will be up to parents whether they decide to send their children back or not – they will not face penalties for not doing so.

Both primary and secondary schools have been open throughout the lockdown for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

Councillor Eleanor Stringer (pictured above), cabinet member for children’s services and education, said that some schools will be opening up for just one year group.

She added that individual schools will be taking different approached and parents should hear from schools.

“Some schools are taking extra time – to train staff and prepare classrooms; others feel able to open more quickly, but perhaps only with one year group to start with,” said Councillor Stringer.

“I would personally like to thank headteachers, governors, governing bodies and their staff teams for the extraordinary efforts they have put into dealing with all the challenges that the past couple of months have thrown at them.

“And I’d also like to thank our families for coping with the challenges of home education. We trust that families will continue to take decisions for their own wellbeing, and want to assure them that no parent will be penalised for non attendance during this reopening phase.”

Schools have been asked to update on their opening policies on this Merton Council list –

At this stage the only primary school which has updated the list is Cranmer Primary School in Mitcham which is set to welcome more pupils from June 4.

This will initially be done in stages  – with year 6 on June 4  nursery on 15 June 15 and finally reception and Year 1 on June 22.

A plan on the school website states that children will be kept in bubbles of 15 even at break times.

By Tara O'Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

June 1, 2020