Education bosses have pledged their support to schools and families as almost all children head to school unsure of when they will next return to their classrooms.
North Yorkshire County Council has revealed plans to help students learn from home during the coronavirus crisis following yesterday’s government announcement that all schools will close by the end of Friday, except for vulnerable pupils or children of key workers.
It comes as GCSEs and A-Levels exams have also been cancelled.
Stuart Carlton, North Yorkshire County Council’s Director for Children and Young People’s Service, said it was a “momentous” move by the government.
He said: “We have set up a Covid-19 task group to support our school staff in their work with families to ensure that children’s learning can continue in the home environment. Many of our schools have already been developing home learning and online learning packs and we are supplementing this endeavour with learning tools on our website.
“In the immediate future we will be addressing plans and working with schools and at a multi-agency level to help to protect our children and young people, particularly those who are most vulnerable, and to help to keep them safe in the period to come and working with schools who will continue to look after the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
“This will be an enormous task which will involve all our communities and resourcefulness and the cooperation of all.”
The decision will have been welcomed by some headteachers in Harrogate who were this week struggling to keep their doors open with a growing number of staff and students in self-isolation.
But it has also caused some confusion on how the schools closures will affect students, parents and exams.
The government has promised to release a list of the “key workers” whose children can still go to school during the coronavirus crisis.
And more details will also be given on how pupils would be awarded grades in the absence of exams.
Mr Charlton said: “In North Yorkshire we have well established, tried and tested partnership working practices which help us to manage the impact of very significant challenges.
“During this unprecedented challenge for our county and our nation we will focus our joint resources where they are needed most in protecting the future well-being of our young people.
“It’s important to have a single source of trusted information so we are using one web-page to provide information for all educational settings https://cyps.northyorks.gov.uk/covid-19
“Online learning and school home learning packs can be found on: https://cyps.northyorks.gov.uk/covid-19-resources-help-online-learning”
The government said schools will remain closed “until further notice.”