As you know, the Government have said all Primary Schools (except those they have identified in the South) should reopen to all pupils tomorrow. I'm sure many of you have seen in the news or in the local media that some schools or authorities are making the decision themselves to only open to vulnerable and key worker pupils.
At present, our instruction from the Government and from our local authority is that we remain open to all pupils following our risk assessment as before Christmas unless staffing levels mean that the school cannot reopen safely.
You may have seen in the media that many unions for Teachers and Support staff are advising their members of their right to refuse to work if they feel unsafe particularly as the new strain seems to be spreading much more quickly. Staff in many schools have invoked this right which is why you may have heard about some schools not opening for all children tomorrow.
I have asked our staff to confirm their intentions by 3:30pm today. I will confirm before 4:30pm (I will have to meet with the Chair of Governors first) if we need to have any changes ourselves but for now, please assume we are open to all pupils. (It is possible that we may only be able to open to vulnerable pupils (those with a social worker and those with an Education Health Care Plan) and pupils whose parents are key workers and currently working (there is a list on the Government website of key worker roles but I will send this later if we have to go down that road.)
I have received many e-mails from parents who are worried about their children returning to school especially with the high numbers in the local area and the new strain. If you have particular worries about your child's safety or maybe someone in your household is more vulnerable and you're worried about your child bringing COVID home, please e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). It may be that we can agree working from home for individual children for a short period of time until the situation is less concerning. I would love to say I can guarantee that no staff or child will test positive for COVID but clearly no-one can guarantee this. What I can guarantee though is that as a school, we are continually assessing risks and making changes to ensure we keep the risks as low as they possibly can. Our risk assessment is on our website but below are some of the key ways we minimise the risks.
Please remember, children should isolate and get a test if they have symptoms (please inform school straight away if this is the case for your child). They should also be isolating if anyone else is the household has symptoms or is positive.