A NUMBER of primary schools in South Gloucestershire will not re-open on June 1, with a phased return for pupils instead, as headteachers fear children and teachers would be placed at risk.

The Severnside cluster of schools, which includes schools in Alveston, Olveston, Almondsbury, Pilning and Severn Beach, have agreed on a a plan which sees year groups return at different times.

Pupils in Reception will return on Tuesday, June 2, with Year 1 to return at the start of the following week if this proves successful.

Year Six pupils will wait a further week and are scheduled to return on June 15.

All the above schools will be closed every Friday for a deep clean.

Announcing the plan Paul Smith, headteacher of Almondsbury Primary School, said: “. I am still not able to guarantee that all children and teachers will not be at risk but we will do our utmost to mitigate these risks within school.”

Primary schools in Thornbury will also have a four-day week when they reopen, with only the children of key workers being allowed in on Fridays.

The news comes after the South Gloucestershire branch of the NEU described the June 1 date as ‘too soon’.

A spokesman said: “Schools should only fully open when it is safe to do so, and at the moment the union does not feel that is the case.”

Both Severnside and Thornbury schools will be keeping children in ‘bubbles’ of approximately 10 children. Each bubble with have start and finish the day at a different time, while break and lunchtimes will also be staggered. There will also be a break from the usual curriculum in favour of a focus on wellbeing.

A letter written by South Gloucestershire Council ‘s director of children, adults and health stated: “The factors to be considered will vary from one school to another and the approach taken must be based on a robust assessment of all risks.”