South Shields school offers later start for pupils on the morning after England vs Italy in the Euro 2020 final

A primary school is offering lie-ins for young lions fans on the morning after the Euro 2020 final.

By Ross Robertson
Friday, 9th July 2021, 2:08 pm
Harton Primary School, East Avenue, South Shields.
Harton Primary School, East Avenue, South Shields.

England’s historic game against Italy at Wembley gets underway at 8pm on Sunday night, and even without the ensuing 90 minutes of action, half time, and the potential for extra time and penalties, that is far past the bed time of most primary school children.

In response, Karen Ratcliffe, headteacher at Harton Primary School, has offered parents the option of letting their little ones lie-in if they are staying up late to watch the match.

Pupils can arrive either at the usual time, or have a more leisurely start at 10.30am without being marked as late.

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Schools around the country have made similar decisions as families in England prepare for the big day.

In a letter to parents, also posted on the school’s Facebook page, Ratcliffe said: “We know our pupils (and their families) are looking forward to the football on Sunday evening.

"Along with other schools we are planning a more flexible approach to registration on Monday morning.

"School is open as normal and pupils can arrive from 8:40am to 8:55am as usual.

"However, if your child is a football fan and you are allowing them to watch the final on Sunday evening, we would rather they come in late, than stay off for the whole day.

"We will re-open the green gates (near the bike sheds) at 10:30am for those arriving late.

“We believe that children and families have had their education and life experiences disrupted for the past year and a half and we want to support pupils to be part of this historic event.

"The football final will give pupils the opportunity to talk about the hard work and resilience of the team and the pride of the country in supporting England.”

Ms Ratcliffe, however, stressed there would be no crossing patrol in place at 10.30am for the later-arriving children.

The headteacher also addressed the issue of the pandemic, with the school being one of many in South Tyneside which has had pupils at home self-isolating.

She wrote: “As you are probably aware South Tyneside currently has the highest number of positive cases in the country. Along with another 42 schools in our Local Authority, we have ‘bubbles’ of children isolating at home.

“We have certainly noticed an increase in the number of positive cases being reported and we currently have 240 pupils isolating. We appreciate how distressing and inconvenient this is for families and our staff but this situation is out of our control and we are following Government guidelines.

"As we approach the holidays, we are really hoping the number of positive cases begins to fall, as we certainly do not want our pupils or staff having to isolate for the first week of the summer holidays.”

She added: “Please stay safe and thank you for your continued support. We are hopeful that the new guidelines for September will allow us to have a more normal school term.”

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