Latest Letter to Parents/Carers
15th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am sure you have been following the Government’s announcements regarding the re-opening of schools. Over the course of this week the guidance is changing rapidly, and high-level meetings are taking place between the trades unions and the Government to try and agree a common way forward. This leaves us in a difficult position as we cannot inform you of our plans with any certainty now.
However, I want to reassure you that both the school and the Bourne Education Trust is planning how we can manage the return to school, when it happens. Underpinning our plans are the following principles:
- We will abide by the framework published by the Government and organise for the named year groups (Early Years , Year 1 and Year 6) to return to school.
- We will follow the trades unions’ guidance to support both pupils and staff.
- We do not believe that it is possible for the school to re-open on the 1st June and see the week commencing the 8th June as more achievable so that the site can be made ready.
- The return of each of the named year groups will be staggered so do not expect all of them to come back to school at the same time; dates for each one will be issued in due course.
- Health, safety and well-being will be our primary considerations for all pupils and staff.
- We will attempt to mitigate the key risks associated with the Coronavirus by adopting strict social distancing measures.
- Normal class sizes will not be possible, and we cannot guarantee that your child will have his or her regular teacher; classes may be taken by a teaching assistant under the direction of a teacher.
- Not all our staff are able to return to work at present.
- We are unlikely to be able to offer the normal school day; start and end times will be staggered and changed.
- To maintain social distancing, we may be unable to offer catering facilities, in which case school will end at lunchtime for all except children of key workers and those that are vulnerable; packed lunches or vouchers for those in receipt of free school meals will continue to offered.
- Support for home learning will continue for those year groups not in school.
You can see that these principles will mean that school will look very different from what your children left in late March. I want to thank you in advance for your support and understanding. These are exceptional times and we need to work together in order to navigate our way through them.
I will write to you again with more details once the national framework has been agreed.
11th May 2020
In light of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday night and the further guidance that we have received today in ‘The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’, I wanted to provide our assessment of what it means for parents, carers, children and schools.
The document specifically refers to education within phase 2 of the recovery strategy and states that we should be planning for a phased return for schools. Specifically, it says that:
- Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1st June
- The Government expects children in early years’ settings, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point
- Secondary schools should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning
- The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.
We are already planning for this partial reopening but it will not be a simply return to pre-lockdown schooling. The safety of staff and children will be paramount and social distancing will be strictly enforced. This explains the Government’s reference to a return for identified year groups in small sizes. We will not be able to manage three classes at once so please expect a rotation for your child’s attendance. They will not be in school all day, every day between the 1st June and the end of term. Details of how this will work will be issued shortly.
With regard to a return for all primary children later on in the summer term, we will be guided by the Government and professional associations as to when and how this will happen. It is clear that we will need to assess the success of the staggered return of Year 6 before any decision is made.
Rest assured that safety and well-being are key elements of our reopening planning. Prior to any pupil returning we will outline what measures we have in place to minimise the risks of being in school.
Prior to the 1st June our status is as it has been since the 23rd March – we are only open for those children of critical workers who need to be cared for while their parent(s) are at work and for those children deemed ‘vulnerable’.
Thank you for all the support we have received so far; it has made a huge difference.
16 April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope that you and your family have had a safe and restful half term.
As per our previous communication, schools are still expecting to provide care for children of key workers and those that are vulnerable, who absolutely need to attend. If your child falls under these categories please let me know as soon as possible which days you require for the next two weeks. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please can I ask that you make every consideration before sending your children in. My staff have been amazing and all are willing to support the community but based on all the scientific research and government advice we are putting them and their families at risk.
Further considerations to make are:
We do not have the capacity to accommodate children of key workers just so that the non- key worker can carry on with their employment.
If you or your child have been isolated in the last week, or have become ill overnight, even if you have a registered place, you may not bring in your child without confirming with me first.
I believe the spirit of the offer is to allow absolute frontline staff to continue fighting the Coronavirus but I am keen to keep the group of children at school as small as possible, to maintain the health of each individual child and to try to keep my own staff well for as long as possible.
I have a duty of care to each member of my staff and I am not willing to put my own staff’s health at risk (or the health of their children/family) to provide a childcare facility to allow non-frontline staff to continue to work.
Once again, I appreciate that there is a serious tone in this letter, but these are unprecedented circumstances and the burden of acting in the safest interests of everyone is a heavy one and rests on the shoulders of all of us.
We can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement over the past few weeks, it has helped to keep up the morale of all the staff. Thank you!