Cllr John Joseph Kelly Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding has admitted that “as many as one third of schools in Sefton” have been affected by Coronavirus in some way.

Sefton Council has confirmed that adults visiting Sefton schools are required to wear face coverings.  Additionally, only one parent or guardian is able to enter the premises for drop-off and pick-up.

Parents have also been asked to arrive promptly drop-offs and pick-ups, and not to congregate on school grounds or in the immediate area.

The news comes as at least 5 schools in Southport have either confirmed coronavirus cases among pupils and staff, or someone connected with the school has come into contact with a positive case.

But Cllr Kelly has praised the Borough’s teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and pupils themselves for the all that they are doing to ensure children can safely attend school.

Cllr Kelly said: “As with the rest of the region, it is a rapidly changing picture with as many as one third of schools in Sefton having been affected in some way.

“We have had class and year bubbles and the staff who work with them sent home while others are returning following periods of self-isolation.

“Schools have done a great job informing parents and reassuring them that every effort is being made to ensure that children can safely attend school and to quell any rumours that may be being spread.

“Schools have also been also following Department for Education and Public Health England guidelines and we are all doing everything we can to ensure that our children and young people do not miss out on their vital education.”

“I would like to say a personal ‘thank you’ to teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and to the pupils themselves for working with us during this challenging period and also to wish a speedy recovery to anyone who is unwell.”

Cllr Kelly went on to emphasise the importance of anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperature, new constant cough or a loss of taste or smell, booking a test as soon as they are able.

He said: “Testing is key to helping prevent the spread of infections and with the current pressure on accessing appointments, we would remind people that they should only book a test if they have the coronavirus

“They should not be trying to book themselves a test because their child has symptoms or has been sent home from school.”

Details of the latest restrictions affecting the region and how people might be affected by them can be found on the Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk/coronavirus along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions. These Questions cover a range of areas including people’s households and social life, their support bubbles and childcare, support for vulnerable people and education.