Dear Parents and Carers
Following last night’s brief from the Prime Minister, and after stating continuously that I would update you whenever I have information, I write today to keep you in the loop of the status of school. There were some messages last night that could be ‘open to interpretation’. I hope that clarity on these will be given in today’s parliamentary session, led by Mr Johnson, at around 3:30pm.
However, parents will need some immediate clarification from management of the school on some matters and I aim to give this now. Please read all the information (important note re may half term is enclosed).
In the short term nothing has changed for schools. Schools remain closed and we are awaiting further guidance on expectations/criteria for re-opening. We learned of the proposals at the same time as you and we anticipate clarity being given in the coming days.
As always, I will try to frame these a questions parents have or may ask.
Schools remain closed. An employer stipulating that you can return to work as you cannot work from home does not automatically entitle your child to access school - nor does this make you an essential key worker. This is a challenge for both schools and employees.
Government guidance on access to schools has not changed. School is only open to those children and only those who continue to fall into the following criteria may access the school if it is deemed safe and only when there is no safe alternative:
Defined by the Department of Education as having a social worker
Including Health staff, teachers, police, essential delivery services and essential food retail (not cafes restaurants etc).
For most, if not all, this means that even if asked to return to school by your employer you will not have access to school under the current status, even after last night's statement.
Firstly, it must be made clear that this is the target and is subject to further government details and conditions being met. These include continued drop in infection rates (R) and schools being able to fulfil a Risk Assessment/Risk Actions. However, it is the plan to open for these groups of children as of June 1st.
Access to school will be subject to criteria set by health professionals and government, likely to include social distancing and restrictions of numbers on site. These are (at the point of writing) unknown. Once these are set, firmer plans can be made and shared.
It is important to establish now that this equates to approximately 150 pupils; close to half the school population. It will not be safe to open to all these children at the same time and, as I have said before, result in children accessing on only given days and with staggered start and end times. Please be prepared for the reality that this will not be an ‘open as usual’ Monday to Friday option if and when we are given permission to open.
No. School will be closed for May half term. This will be necessary in order to ensure all is in place ready for receiving child.
As always, I will update you as and when more is known.