Arriving At Yavneh, Manchester. Photo by Lawrence Purcell

Jewish youngsters returned to school this week and huge numbers follow in the coming days before university students take up places after chaotic exam results came out last month. Six months have passed since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK would go into lockdown after the global coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Across the country youngsters have got used to a new way of life in terms of studies as Zoom conferencing and phone lessons became a staple part of life. From kindergarten to post graduates a plethora of safety regulations are in place although at any moment regions could temporarily shut down if there is a Covid-19 spike. Back in June, Johnson told the House of Commons primary and secondary education would recommence in September “with full attendance” and children should do so because “it’s safe”. Many headteachers said it was “pure fantasy” reducing social distancing to one metre by September. But that has been the case since July 4.

And this week, youngsters of all ages began the process of a return to education. Covid-19 health measures will protect students, staff, teachers and their families. Practical rules include staggered start and closing times, staggered mealtimes, temporary classes, reduced class sizes alongside water and hygiene facilities. Physical distancing and food preparation have been considered. Staff and teachers have been trained on distancing expectations. And of course, where masks need to be worn has been made clear. With the High Holidays two weeks away, it is time for endless debates to end. Parents are naturally anxious but faith has to take hold that safety issues are in place at all schools. They have the best interests of pupils at heart.