5th January 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
RE: Update regarding Government announcement last night
I am sure that like us, you will be feeling very concerned about the latest news of the new lockdown, and the safety and well-being of your family. The safety of our school community is paramount as we, once again, look at the risks and challenges and seek to ensure all our children receive the best possible support that we are able to give, as safely as possible.
This change of situation necessitates a new and different approach to what we can offer and how we offer it.
We are working now to ensure the children of critical workers and the most vulnerable can attend onsite, if they cannot stay at home. We aim to have on site provision available from Friday 8th January. The message for our whole school community is, in line with the national lockdown, to stay home and to keep numbers of children and adults on site to a minimum, for everyone’s safety.
We are going to contact all families today and tomorrow as part of our risk assessment process. We are also starting safeguarding and welfare calls today.
Staff capacity and availability to work on site is significantly reduced for many reasons, including union advice to work from home or Government guidance to stay home for medical reasons. Our risk assessments will help us to re-group children and staff in to new ‘bubbles’ and deploy available staff on site. Other staff will be deployed to support home learning. Our teachers will be planning on-line approaches to learning that will continue the curriculum offer that pupils receive in school.
We are working to ensure we can continue to provide meal options for all pupils who are in school including for pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. We aim to continue to provide free school meals or food parcels for pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals who are not attending school.
As you will be aware, schools have additionally been tasked with operating a COVID-19 testing programme. We have started the processes for establishing weekly testing for staff and daily close contact testing for those staff and pupils who have come in to contact with a positive case. However, we are not ready to implement testing just yet. We will need sufficient additional staff to roll out our testing regime, and we will consult families first. Children will need plenty of preparation too before any testing, and we will need to ensure we have adequate clinical supervision, support and governance. We will do this as soon as we are able to.
If you are unsure about the definition of a critical worker, the full list is available on line: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision?utm_source=4%20January%202021%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19
As the critical worker list has expanded this time we may need to ask you for evidence of your critical worker status/identification. We would be very grateful if you could send a scanned photograph of this via SeeSaw or email to the school office as soon as possible. Thank you.
Guidance is likely to change and we will continue to keep abreast of all Government recommendations where it is reasonable, practical and safe to do so. Trustees will re-evaluate our most up to date risk assessments later this week in readiness for a reduced provision for children of critical workers and our most vulnerable pupils only in the first instance.
Thank you for your patience and kindness at such a challenging time. We remain wholly committed to your children and our whole school community. Our teachers look forward to contacting you shortly.
With very best wishes,
Andrew Buckton Sue Hewitt