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20th March 2020
As you will now be aware, the Government has taken the decision to close all schools within England. Please see the Government guidance below taken from the Department for Education’s latest directive:
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.
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But 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.
Schools are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Please therefore follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
It is important to follow the guidance above and it is expected that the child will be at home unless both parents are key workers and it is not possible to find other ways to care for them safely. We reiterate that if it is possible for a child to be at home, then they must be.
For those children who will no longer attend school, until further notice we have taken the following measures:
Home Learning support
Pupils will be able to access a wide range of materials via the school’s website. These materials have been planned by their teachers and are age-appropriate and designed to support their progress whilst school remains closed.
Please ensure that you encourage and expect your child to complete these activities. They will enable your son/daughter to continue learning even in these unusual circumstances.
Reading books will also be available and distributed to pupils throughout the closure to facilitate maintaining of good habits around regular reading for pleasure. Further details to follow.
We will, where staffing levels allow, be maintaining regular contact with you and your child throughout the closure.
Your child’s coach will endeavour to be in touch throughout the school’s closure to support the management of this unprecedented time for our school community. Additionally, our safeguarding and inclusion teams will be available to offer additional support should it be required.
We appreciate what a complex situation this is for many families and know that some children will be used to receiving a regular meal as part of the school’s free school meal programme. We will be offering meals for children eligible for a free school meal. Year Managers will be in touch with applicable families to share the details of this provision.
Communication and updates
There may be periods of time when we are unable to take telephone calls on the usual telephone number therefore if you have any questions or queries, please email the school at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will aim to get back to you as promptly as possible.
We will issue all key updates and information via our website and also text all families to highlight that there has been an update placed on the website.
What can you do to help?
The Government have been clear that we should, as a school and a community, be endeavouring to reduce the number of people attending school.
We will aim to provide the directed support and provision for as long as possible. However with staff numbers diminishing due to the Coronavirus, if numbers of pupils become unmanageable, we will have to consider partnering with other schools and that may involve redirecting children of key workers to attend a different site.
We appreciate that these are new and difficult times and we will continue to work with all our families to support them to navigate the challenges ahead.
There are resources and links available on our website to help support you and your family’s emotional health and wellbeing through this unprecedented time and we will continue to support our pupils remotely through the communication routes outlined.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Simon Flowers Lucie Lakin
Executive Principal Principal