Covid-19 Update - 20.03.20

Dear Parent / Carer 

Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time. Our first priority is of course to keep everybody safe and then to keep everyone as well informed as possible in these rapidly changing circumstances.

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On Thursday, we wrote to let you know how we are planning to keep our school open, following the government briefing we received on Wednesday. Late last night, additional guidance was published that largely focussed on the proposed closure of some schools and the descriptions of key workers.

The guidance clarifies a couple of important points:

‘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.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care plans’.

A key priority for the government is that those parents / carers who need to continue working as part of the national response to Covid-19 should do so wherever possible.

The information we have sent in letters from school to you has not substantially changed, because we are planning to operate a service from our school from Monday, but we also take note of the important points in the most recent guidance:

‘The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

That is why 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.’

In the guidance for parents and carers published yesterday, the government advise that:

‘Many parents working in these critical sectors [Key Workers] may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’.

In considering this advice, we would ask that you continue to think about what is best for your child: We have previously recognised that some parents will want to keep their child at home, even though they do not have symptoms and no one in the household is self-isolating or social distancing. Our advice continues to be that we are supportive of families who wish to make this decision.

We have contacted parents already about their views on this, however we understand that some people who intend to send their child to school next week may change their mind over the next few days as a result of the latest published advice. If this applies to you, we ask that you contact the school office as soon as you can to keep us informed.

We really do appreciate your support with this, as it will help us to predict the number of pupils likely to be in school each day and because the number of staff available to us is likely to vary, it will greatly assist us in planning.

We will write again when there is further information to share with you,

With kind regards and thanks for your ongoing support.

Amanda Jagot and Richard Preece

Head of School Executive Head / CEO