School closure update 20.03.2020
As previously communicated and following government guidelines, our school will be shut from today – Friday 20th March 2020. We will not reopen until directed by the government.
The new Government guidelines, issued last night, state that most children must stay at home. Schools should only remain open for those who absolutely need to attend. We are prioritising places in schools to those vulnerable children. There will be some provision for those children who have a parent or parents who are key workers, however many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child stays at home, especially if only one parent works in the key sector. Every child who can be safely cared for at home, should be.
Read the guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintainingeducational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.
We will be offering limited provision to children who have been identified by school as having an EHCP or support from other services, children the school know to be vulnerable and then, if any capacity remains, to any families who can prove that at least one parent is a key worker – we will prioritise key worker roles based on what area of work you are in. The Government have placed a requirement on key workers to obtain proof from their employer that, based on a business continuity plan, your specific role is necessary for the priority continuation of necessary public service. I am afraid this is not based on financial need to be in work but on being in a service that will have a significant impact on the running of the country if you are unable to work.
You will hear directly from school if you have been offered an emergency place today. We have a number of parents to contact and would appreciate your patience with this. If you do not hear from school, we are unable to offer a place at the current time. We may, as time goes on be able to offer places to other children, depending on numbers. We will review this over time and keep a waiting list in place, including those parents who have spoken to staff already.
If a child arrives at school who is not on our confirmed list, you will be asked to take them home.
We have contacted families of children with EHCPs directly. To confirm, if your child has an EHCP, they do not have to attend school if you are able to care for them at home. Please be aware this is very different emergency provision, and targets on provision maps will not be able to be addressed.
Please understand that from Friday, school will be essentially repurposed and will be acting as a care provision. As we will be operating with a skeletal staff you will be unable to access the office either in person or by telephone, but you will be able to leave a message. There will be no breakfast club or afterschool clubs. Unless it has been confirmed that you are entitled to the emergency care provision, your child will not be able to return to school until the Government re-opens all schools. Dates for the re-opening of our school will be put on our website in the News Section.
If your child is in the emergency provision, we will be open from 9.00am to 3.15pm. We will be taking a register immediately. Please contact school as a matter of urgency and leave a message on our answering machine if your child is unable to attend, giving the reason why. If you develop symptoms of the coronavirus, then the protocol for family self-isolation for 14 days will, of course, apply, regardless of your key worker status or child’s need.
All children accessing school will need to be accompanied to and from the school front door. This is to secure the safety of the children. No child will be allowed to walk to or from school by themselves. At present we will be able to offer a reduced hot meal service through our kitchens, payable as normal. We are unable to provide a meal if it is not paid for in advance.
As we will be enjoying a range of activities, children will need wellington boots or outdoor shoes, a waterproof coat and their PE kits. They will not need to wear school uniform.
It is very important that if you take up this offer you commit to informing school each week when your child will be attending. We cannot offer care on a day to day basis as we need to know how many children we will have in school to ensure we can staff safely. You will need to contact school via email by midday each Friday to confirm which days you need emergency care for the following week. If you work part time, you will only be offered care on days you work. Rotas can be emailed in as proof of work hours.
If we find ourselves in a position where senior leadership or available staffing is compromised, all provision will come to an end and this will be communicated as soon as possible. At this point school is closed for the imminent future. There may be provision at another school that could be accessed.
For those families who are supported by free school meals we will be identifying a way to continue the free school meal offer. This does not include the Universal free school provision for reception and Key Stage One children.
I thank you all for your support in this very difficult and uncertain time. We will attempt to maintain contact – although that could get increasingly difficult. It is vital that families, for whom school is closed, check the website, twitter and parent hub app regularly for updates.
Keep yourselves and your families safe and keep in touch.