Dear Parents and Carers 20th March 2020
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear in Department for Education Guidance published this morning. From Monday 23rd March school is closed for the vast majority of students. If your child can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. If your child is remaining at home, they will receive a learning pack with activities and advice on learning at home. The work is aimed to last until the Easter holidays. More packs and advice will be issued in the weeks ahead, as necessary.
We have already contacted parents and carers of vulnerable students to assess whether they need to be in school. This included students who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with .
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. Pupils who are offered a place at school will be cared for by school staff and will be engaged in purposeful learning activities, similar to the activities we are sending home for other children.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If you think you fall into one of the key worker categories and would like a school place, please contact our school office immediately on 01704 538366. You will need to confirm that your role is necessary for the continuation of the essential public service that employs you. We may accept verbal confirmation in the first instance but, by Friday 28 March, you will have to provide signed written confirmation from your employer, either on headed notepaper or by email, that your specific role is necessary for the continuation of an essential public service.
School will be open at the normal school times for pupils who fall into the categories above. Children should come in school uniform. Breakfast club and after school club is also open for them from 7.30 and after school until 6pm, with the usual charging rates – For this Jacob Cunningham can be contacted on 07802 254 528. The school kitchen is in operation and pupils can have a school dinner or bring a packed lunch, as normal. For pupils in receipt of free school meals, who are not in school, a system will be in place to enable them to get a free lunch. More information about this will follow.
We have a plan to keep in regular contact with families. In the meantime, if you have any questions or worries, get in touch with us.
Once more, thank you for your support at this difficult time for us all.