ISLE of Wight Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services has told the County Press that he is not aware of any negative feedback from schools as they prepare to reopen to children in years 1 and 6, as well as reception, from 1 June.

Councillor Paul Brading says there are strict guidelines about making schools safe for returning pupils.

He insists they will only reopen to extra pupils if it is safe to do so.

Questions for Councillor Paul Brading? The County Press will be hosting a Facebook Live session on Friday, at 12pm. Email your question to and write 'schools' in the subject. 

Isle of Wight County Press:
Cllr Brading said: “We’ve had no negative feedback from schools on the Isle of Wight. They’re saying ‘let’s work through it’.  The government guidance was quite comprehensive and the schools have got to be safe for the staff and the children.

“The government will make the final decision, based on their own scientific advice nearer the time. The locking down of schools was the easy decision. Harder decisions are around not when to reopen, but how. If it’s not right and we’re not ready, it won’t be done.”

"I can’t praise staff enough."

- Cllr Paul Brading, Isle of Wight Council's cabinet member for children's services

Most primary schools have remained open for vulnerable children and those of key workers on the Isle of Wight. Take-up has been higher than average, according to Cllr Brading.

He says the return will allow a proper transition for children starting secondary school in September.

Among the ideas being discussed are: 

  • Smaller class sizes - with a maximum of 15 pupils in a class - one teacher working as a group
  • Staggered start and finish times
  • Staggered breaks
  • No assemblies
  • No sharing of equipment 

Cllr Brading said: “During lockdown, schools have been setting work and been innovative. I can’t praise staff enough for the way they’ve done that. Some children may have benefited from home working but others will benefit more from the buzz of the classroom environment.

“I’m confident schools will cope with the next phase of reopening. There’s a strict set of guidelines to follow.

“We’ll work with every school to make sure they’re ready. If a school can’t comply, a decision will be made nearer the time. We’re not about putting staff and pupils at risk.”  

Secondary schools will decide how to move forward with government advice that children who are due to take exams next year should have some time with their teachers before the summer term.

Carisbrooke and Medina Colleges have both confirmed that years seven to nine will not be back until at least September.

Read more: When are Carisbrooke and Medina pupils going back?