23/03/2020 - Update
23rd March 2020
Update regarding Covid-19 school closure
Dear Parents and Carers,
The government has updated its guidance again over the weekend.
Further information may be accessed using the following links:
- Guidance (list of key workers): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19maintaining-educational-provision
- Guidance for Families: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-ofeducational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
In our schools, Culverhill and New Siblands, risk assessments have identified some pupils who may be able to access provision at this time of emergency. For those pupils, we are working towards opening a level of provision from Monday 31st March. The provision will be monitored and re-evaluated daily, as we are finding we have fewer and fewer staff able to come in to school. We will contact those families later this week.
School leaders are needing to carefully ensure available staff have the right medical needs training to safely open a reduced provision. We are also seeking resources and equipment from health providers to ensure basic health and safety measures are able to be put in place. This includes sufficient sanitiser gel, soap, plastic gloves, cleaning products, thermometers.
We will be sending out attendance protocols that we feel will minimise the chance of our pupils and staff contracting and spreading the virus later this week and will include our expectations about daily changing of clothes, temperature testing, the wearing of gloves and aprons.
We are liaising with Health colleagues to try to provide us with additional capacity to train staff in administering medication, including epilepsy medication. We will also be seeking Health support with first aiders on site. This is because the majority of our trained staff in these areas are self-isolating or unable to attend work due to their own medical needs. We are also liaising with Health colleagues for advice on safe working protocols for our staff. We will be liaising with the Local Authority around transport, and will request that transport providers update us and yourselves on protocols for minimising the spread of the virus from surfaces in the vehicles.
Any child who is able to attend reduced provision will need to bring a packed lunch. We are seeking to establish on-site provision of food for children who would have free school meals.
We will be liaising with the Local Authority to set up a way for payments for other children who are not accessing school and who would ordinarily be entitled to having free school meals. We will update you in due course.
The list of people that are considered to be key workers can be found via the link below:
The government have been very clear that parents are to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. We do not have the capacity to manage large numbers of children so are asking parents and carers to only use this provision if there are no other, safe alternatives. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
Some pupils have significant underlying health needs, such as significant respiratory conditions for whom the virus presents a life-threatening risk, and others may not able to adopt self-care hygiene strategies as defined by Public Health England. Some pupils may need ‘hand-to-hand’ contact to access provision or require intimate care. A key risk is that staff could, unwittingly, pass on the virus because of the close physical proximity that is necessary with that child. If children come to school then they stand a greater chance of contacting the virus and spreading in their homes and communities.
For some pupils, they may be safer at school or be the children of key workers and of course these children will need to be looked at on a case by case basis. We may be requesting evidence of key working to ensure emergency access to provision for the children of our nation’s frontline staff at this unprecedented time.
The decision for any pupil to stay in school should be the last resort rather than the default option.
Thank you for your support at this very challenging time for us all.