The chairs of governors of 21 London Jewish primaries have written jointly to parents to reassure them ahead of the planned return of some classes next week.
Schools have been shut since March 20, apart from some which have catered for a small number of children of key workers or those designated as vulnerable — for instance, with learning difficulties.
But the government has encouraged primary schools to enable years one, six and reception to come back as early as next Monday if they have been able to put special hygiene measures in place.
Arrangements will vary among schools with some planning to stagger the return of different classes.
In their letter, the governors appealed for “patience and understanding” as schools managed a “difficult period of transition”.
Each school had “its own complex set of circumstances to consider when deciding when and how to reopen.
“Parents should not compare the provision of the schools but rather appreciate that our school leaders are doing their very best to return our children to a normal routine as quickly as possible given their individual circumstances and the requirements of the extensive and ever-changing government guidance.”
Before deciding to reopen, senior staff had undertaken “full risk assessments” of their schools in line with guidance from government, the local authority and Pajes, the Jewish Leadership Council’s schools’ network.
Staff were praised for the “compassionate leadership and professionalism” that had enabled learning to continue during “this most turbulent term”.
Naima JPS in Maida Vale said it had “every intention” of reopening on Monday, with Sinai in Kenton due to do so on Tuesday.
Parents of pupils at North-West London Jewish Day School in Willesden have been told the plan is for reception and year six to start on Monday, year one the following week on June 8 and the nursery in a fortnight.
Classes would be split into two groups with one group coming in on Monday and Tuesday; the second on Wednesday and Thursday, with the groups alternating on Friday. Each group would be sub-divided into “two smaller groups”.
In Manchester, North Cheshire Jewish Primary School will not have children back until June 10 at the earliest in accordance with the policy of its local council, Stockport.
“We think year six is more likely… than lower down the school,” said North Cheshire head Michael Woolf.
At King David Primary in Birmingham, headteacher Steve Langford was getting ready to “welcome reception, year one and year six back full-time from June 3, splitting each class across two classrooms and enforcing bubbles [smaller groups] throughout the day.”
The nursery, he said, would be divided into two groups, each attending two full days.
Meanwhile, the United Synagogue said that of its seven nurseries, two would open next week, two the week after and two the week after that.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that years 10 and 12 will begin returning to secondary school on June 15 in advance of exams next year.