The Government has now started the slow process of lifting some of the restrictions of lock down but it is now more important than ever that the rules are adhered to.
Sadly, I have been informed by several people in the wider community that some of our families are not taking this seriously and are visiting each other or other family members in their homes as well as allowing children that do not live together to play together on parks, in each other's houses and on each other's gardens and not with social distancing either.
I know how difficult not spending time with friends and family is but we really need to follow this guidance especially with the idea that schools will begin a phased reopening in the near future.
We will be putting every safety measure we can in at school but we need to know that you are doing the same at home otherwise pupils will not be safe. With this in mind, we expect every child that is attending school now or in the future and their families to be fully adhering to all the rules set by the government otherwise their place at school will be withdrawn as we have to consider the safety of all pupils.
If any child that is attending school now or in the future exhibits any of the symptoms related to COVID, they will be isolated until a Parent can collect them and asked to stay home for 7 days or until a negative test result is achieved, whichever is sooner. We realise that many illnesses may have similar symptoms but we will need to take every precaution to ensure the safety of all so we appreciate your cooperation and understanding regarding this.
Phased reopening of schools
You will, I'm sure, have seen all the coverage about the reopening of schools in the media and may well have concerns about this. You may also be aware that all teaching unions are asking the Government to review their statement about the possibility of a return as early as 1st June for the safety of pupils, staff and their wider families and to reconsider their idea that all pupils could be back in school for 1 month. These are simply not possible to achieve safely.
Schools do need to reopen, of course, but this has to be done slowly and carefully to ensure everyone is kept safe. Our staff and governors along with advice from the local authority and unions are creating a plan of how this may work in our school. As I said previously, I expect to have this plan to share with you by the middle of next week. There will be no firm dates on the plan however, as there have been no decisions made regarding dates at this time but it will give you an overview of how we hope to begin the phased return for some pupils when the time is safe to do so. If your child is one of the year groups mentioned, you will then be able to let us know whether you would like your child to have a place once the phased re-opening begins.
I must stress that the choice will be yours. We will do everything we can to minimise the risks as you will see in the plan, but no-one can fully eradicate them so it will be your choice whether your child attends and you will not be penalised for non-attendance if you decide you want your child to remain at home and continue home learning.
I can confirm that any phased return to school would definitely not be able to begin 1st June as once the plan is confirmed and agreed, we need to re-organise the building to include one way systems, add signage, set up cleaning stations, remove all soft-furnishings, re-organise classrooms, remove excess resources etc. This would mean the very earliest time we could possibly begin a phased reopening would be Mon 8th June and I do stress this is just the earliest date possible- not a given date.
I can also confirm that all of the year groups mentioned by the Government ( Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 and now possibly some Nursery pupils) would definitely not all begin the phased return on the same day. This would be a gradual increase with priority given to Early Years as is the current recommendation by the Government. (This is all subject to change of course with the conversations taking place between the Government, experts and Teaching Unions).
School will be an extremely different place for pupils to ensure social distancing and the safety of all. See below for some of the differences- the full plan will give a comprehensive overview.
We will of course, do our best to ensure pupils enjoy the school day but it will not be like the school day they are used to for the safety of all and we want you to be fully aware of this to be able to make informed choices.
Children currently attending
The group of pupils currently attending will still be able to attend in the same way throughout. Timetables will be sent every 2 weeks as previously.
INSET Day changes
Friday 22nd May is no longer an INSET day.
Mon 20th July and Tues 21st July will now be INSET days- school will be closed to all pupils on these days.
Please remember to send evidence of your child's work to your child's teacher via the e-mail addresses shared previously. There are still a few children that have not shared ANY learning yet. We do not want them to have fallen so far behind when they return to school that they struggle unnecessarily. If you have any problems about your child's work, please contact your child's teacher or teaching assistant.
School will be completely closed to all pupils during this week so please do not try to contact anyone. Please try to treat this as a holiday for your child so they can have a break from school work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this whole e-mail.
Please look out for the full plan of phased re-opening next week and send any questions/ concerns to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) once you have read it. Please also remember to let me know of your intentions regarding your child's place (if your child is on one of the groups mentioned) once you have received the plan.
Be safe and take care,