Letter to parents - Towards Reopening
Dear parents and carers
We hope you are all remaining safe and well in these challenging times. We miss your wonderful children and the busy community of our school and are working hard behind the scenes to carefully plan for the next series of phases that we anticipate will, over time, lead to more of our pupils returning to school as the lock down is eased.
You will be aware that the government produced some guidance for special schools yesterday. The guidance states:
“Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools should work towards welcoming back as many children and young people as can be safely catered for in their setting. They may want to prioritise attendance based on key transitions and the impact on life chances and development, and to consider creating part-time attendance rotas so that as many children as possible can benefit from attending their setting. Special settings should work with local authorities and families to ensure that decisions about attendance are informed by existing risk assessments for their children and young people, which should be kept up to date.”
We are also expecting further guidance to be published later this week which we will utilise to support our detailed planning.
Although mainstream schools are being urged to open provision wider for set year groups, the guidance for special schools is not year group specific.
We are moving forward and navigating all guidance based on the following principles:
1. to ensure the safety of pupils, parents and staff;
2. a commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of pupils and staff;
3. approaching the planning task in a measured and deliberate way; and
4. making the best possible decisions on the basis of the evidence we have and within the constrains and parameters we face in our schools and Trust.
We are currently working hard to plan for a staged approach to have more of our children accessing school. We will be contacting you over the coming days to work together on assessing risks relating to your child returning to school and to discuss your views about accessing a school place should we be able to offer a place within an environment that we feel is as safe as possible. We will also be asking whether your child or anyone in your household is clinically extremely vulnerable and has had a letter from the NHS.
The Government has indicated 1st June as a possible opening date for schools at the earliest. For us, the actual date will be dependent on our planning and risk assessments.
In a few weeks’ time, we will be contacting you again, when we have more clarity about our intentions to open more widely. We will be asking for your views about safety for children and then for your thoughts about areas for us to focus on in our ‘recovery curriculum’ for your child. What are the priorities for them in your view? What have they most missed out on throughout the lockdown period?
Thank you for your ongoing support, particularly at this challenging time, and for your ongoing partnership in meeting your children’s needs as fully as possible.
Please look out for a call, text, email etc from the school over the next few days.
With best wishes
Andrew Buckton Sue Hewitt
CEO Enable Trust Headteacher – Culverhill School