Important Information update 08/06/2020
Dear Parents, Carers and families;
I hope this latest message finds you all safe and well.
As you know, we have been waiting for publication of some key documentation before we proceeded with any specific plans for the full reopening of our school. Since I last wrote to you we have received yet more government guidance for schools, (although much of it irrelevant to Special Schools), along with the scientific evidence from the government and the independent SAGE group regarding the wider opening of schools. This has helped us shape our ideas and plans for our students before the summer break. I continue to take my lead on our school provision form The Trust, the DfE and Public Health England.
The key points from the guidance are:
- No more than 25% of the Year cohort should be in school on any one day. For us this is irrelevant.
- Social distancing should be implemented and therefore class sizes will need to be small and movement of students restricted; again for our school this provides huge challenges.
- Use of public transport should be minimised. This is problematic for us as so many of our students come to school on transport. We are working with the LA to ensure that when we open more fully we can address any issues.
- The mixing of students between groups is to be avoided. This means we will look to create small classes and students will be taught only in these ‘bubbles’ whilst they are in school. An implication of this is that it will be very challenging for us to include all Red Kite facilities in this provision.
- Schools need to follow and implement government guidance on hygiene. We will ensure there are adequate facilities for this but continue to recognise how hard this is for our students.
Sadly our local area seems to be becoming a hotspot for COVID -19 and this is a worry for us all.
The article above shows that our area is not seeing a decline in COVID19 cases in line with many other areas in England. On Friday there were reports of schools having to close due to clusters of cases, you may be aware of these reports and be concerned. Having considered the information carefully we have made the decision to continue with the very limited provision that we have on offer for our children of key workers or our most vulnerable children only.
We are still strongly recommending that parents consider if they are able to keep children at home at this time then this is the best course of action. We will continually monitor the number of cases and the R rate over the coming weeks. If the risk becomes too high we will change our plans accordingly and may have to close our school at short notice. Rest assured that the health and safety of pupils, staff and the community will be at the forefront of any actions we take.
As a Trust we do not yet have any details bout September opening but I need to stress that it is highly unlikely that we will be back to being fully operational for all children by the planned date of 3rd September. It is likely to assume that we will be open but that we will be offering more ‘bubbles’ of social groups and that your child’s time in school will be on a reduced timetable; we continue to follow advice and we are hopeful that this may all change very quickly. I will inform you as soon as I have any further plans; we are as keen as you to get the children back to school.
We are asking that you do not break the current Government guidelines by allowing your child to have close contact out of school with either children or adults who do not live in your household, other than meeting direct family members and keeping your social situation as tight as you can whilst adhering to the 2m rule. We thank you for your support, we will continue to be transparent and open with you as the situation develops so that you are able to make informed choices about your child returning to school.
As always I am very grateful for your patience and understanding during a time of uncertainty; we are all so desperate to have our School back to its full and busy ways but we need to recognise that we are not yet through his terrible pandemic.
My best wishes to you all,