As part of the Government’s phased plan to get the country back up and running, children in reception, year one and year six have headed back into classrooms in Herefordshire this week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the plans at a press conference last week (May 24) and argued it was crucial for children to get back into school, despite acknowledging that some schools won’t be able to reopen.

Herefordshire Council left the decision on reopening to individual schools, and among those to welcome back pupils on Monday was Broadlands Primary School in Hereford.

Deputy head Robert Kay set out the measures the school would take in a letter to parents and guardians on Friday (May 29), but like other schools had remained open for the past 10 weeks, but only for vulnerable youngsters and the children of key workers.

They included one-way systems on the school site, social distancing amongst pupils, which have been split up into smaller class sizes than usual, and regular hand washing.

Other measures to reduce risk also included children being asked not to wear school uniform, and arrive to school in clean clothes each day.

Similar steps were taken at Ashfield Park Primary School in Ross-on-Wye, where the school reopened on Tuesday after staff had undergone training on June 1.

Headteacher Steven Kendrick said while children in reception class, year one and year six returned on Tuesday, those in nursery will return on June 8.

Among the measures implemented has been one-way system for the school site. Plans were also in place should any pupils display systems, including PPE for staff and a deep-cleaning system for affected areas.

They aren’t, however, expecting the majority of pupils to return. A spokesperson for the school said that year six will have about 30 per cent of pupils attending.

Despite some schools reopening, Herefordshire’s biggest primary school in terms of pupil numbers has not yet done so.

Lord Scudamore Primary Academy in Friars Street, Hereford, has 661 pupils on roll, but as part of the the Herefordshire Marches Federation of Academies, it did not reopen this week.

Executive head Peter Box said that three out of four key conditions that needed to be met in order for them to reopen on June 1 had not been met.

In a letter to parents last week, Mr Box said the effect of the easing of lockdown on the R (reproduction) number yet to be seen.

The federation, which includes primary schools in Sutton, Pencombe and Clehonger, said it could reopen to year R, one and six pupils on June 15 if all conditions are met, but they continue to vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.