Schools should begin to reopen to reception, year one and year six children from Monday, the city council now says.
Brighton and Hove City Council has previously urged schools not to reopen despite the Government saying it was now safe to do so for these year groups.
But it has now changed its advice, and hundreds of pupils are now expected to return to the classroom for the first time in more than two months next week.
Council nurseries are also being told to reopen more widely, and secondary schools are asked to provide face to face support for young people in Year 10 and 12 during this summer term.
The council said it is now looking at how to return other children to school “in the months ahead”.
The Labour-run council had faced criticism from the Conservative group who accused it of failing to follow the science.
But it said that its stance was based on advice from the council’s public health team around the effectiveness of the Government’s test and trace programme.
The council said that its public health team advised this morning the scheme was now running well enough for it to be safe for a phased return to school.
Cllr John Allcock, Chair of Young People, Children and Skills committee, said: “We give our full thanks for all the hard work that is being done during such a challenging and changing time. Our education leaders are showing leadership and good judgement at each stage of the pandemic.
“It is now time to move forward responsibly and the first step is opening schools in a measured and cautious way to the priority year groups.
“Being in school is good for personal wellbeing as well as learning. We hope as many children as possible in the specified age groups will go back this term.
“The next challenge will be what happens in the long-term and how we expand the offer to more children in the months ahead. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to support our schools and early years providers.”
Families will not be fined if they don’t send their children in.
Schools will be making arrangements based on their particular circumstances on how to phase the return to school and the final decision is up to each headteacher.
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