Dear Parents & Carers,
I am writing to you with an update regarding the Coronavirus outbreak to inform you of plans in place for the next two weeks currently.
We will continue to monitor the Public Health advice for Education Settings. We currently have no confirmed or suspected cases in school but have taken steps in line with advice to reduce the number of pupils who will be attending school from Monday 23rd March.
We are working hard to ensure school keeps the safety of staff and students a priority, whilst ensuring that learning continues. Today learning packs are being sent home to all pupils, if your child is not in school today this will be sent through the post. There is also information on the website about activities for learning at home and these will be added to in the future weeks.
It is important that our young people recognise the seriousness of the situation we are all in and are reminded that they need to play their part in social distancing or isolation. This will be a challenge for all of us but especially young people who will inevitably find it difficult to not have the normal routines of life and to be apart from friends and/or relatives for a variety of different reasons.
Overnight the Government published its list of key workers whose children can still have access to school, if there is no alternative, during this crisis so that parents can go to work. The list is quite extensive but at the start of the guidance it states ‘the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear; if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading’. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
As a result we have identified the children who we can offer ‘childcare’ for in the first instance within the usual opening times from next week. This number may change and will be reviewed on a regular basis depending upon the staffing situation in school. If you have been offered childcare in school and agreed that it is required then this information has been sent to the transport department at the local authority (if required).
If we have not contacted you today (Friday) in relation to this then we expect that either your child is currently self-isolating or will be staying at home from Monday next week. The current plan is that we will be catering for 25% of the school population and we will endeavour to offer some limited provision too for appropriate families during the Easter break. School will be closed to all however, on the two Bank Holidays as things stand.
In order to maintain routine for those children attending school we would expect that they continue to attend in full uniform but that they have a PE kit with them each day too. For those families in receipt of free school meals we are currently making arrangements with the local authority and we have been informed that we will be provided with a meal pack which will provide a basic breakfast and lunch for 5 days. In most schools parents will be expected to collect these packs but as our catchment area is very wide and many families do not have transport we will make arrangements to deliver these packs to relevant families from the school staff team.
I would like to thank the vast majority of parents who have been very understanding at this time, sharing relevant information and being available to answer questions, it is very much appreciated. I would also like to thank the staff at school who are committed wherever possible to be in school to support the pupils who need to be here.
We will continue to do our best for all our students and staff in these unusual and uncertain circumstances and keep you informed of any decisions. Please continue to check the website and we will keep in touch. Yours Sincerely, Headteacher