Preliminary data has shown that attendance in North Yorkshire primary schools is as high as 97% following the return to classrooms this week.

Schools have been forced to implement increased safety measures before allowing all students back, including the wearing of face masks in lessons and regular testing.

And such high attendance figures has been described as a “flying start” and a sign of “confidence in safety measures” by North Yorkshire County Council bosses.

Richard Flinton, Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council, said:

“Such high attendance rates show how much confidence our families have in our schools and in the safety measures that have been put in place and the high value they place on the quality of teaching and learning provided.

“If nothing else, months of home learning has taught many of us how hard our teachers have to work to create such high standards of education in North Yorkshire.”

Mr Flinton also expressed his gratitude for school staff for keeping schools open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

He added:

“I want to say a huge thank you to the great service we have seen from our school staff.  Schools in North Yorkshire have been open throughout the pandemic and staff have worked tirelessly to adapt to the many changes that have taken place to cope with the fall-out from Covid-19 in the last year on teaching and learning across our county.

“Staff have had to adapt to online teaching, different arrangements for assessment, they have had to give support to the mental health of their pupils and to families.

“In recent weeks, they have had to put in a huge amount of work to get schools ready for the return of pupils and for the system of lateral flow testing for Covid that has had to be put in place. It has been a real roller coaster, but we are proud of each and every one of them.”

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