Covid-19 Update- Returning to school
Thank you for responding to our survey. Of those parents who have responded, around 80% of you have said that you won’t be sending your child back to school after half term. Some of you have emailed to explain the reasons behind the decision you have already made – thank you. Whilst you trust us to do everything we can to keep your child safe, you are concerned that this may not be enough.
Since I last posted information, we have had very many advice documents and guidance documents from the government. The advice in these documents is not always clear; I will try to put as plainly as I can, what I believe it says. You need to make any decisions about your child based on the information you have available.
What we know:
Children from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are to return to school in the week beginning June 1st if the government believe it is safe to do so.
All Primary children to be in school by July if it is safe to have them in.
Staff and pupils in schools will be eligible for testing if they show symptoms
If a child or member of staff in a small group tests positive, the others in that group will need to self isolate too
Children/staff in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable groups’ are NOT expected to attend school (notice new terminology)
Staff and children should NOT attend school if they have symptoms or are self- isolating.
A child or staff member, who is living with somebody who is classed as clinically vulnerable, (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) is expected to attend school.
Children are to be in class sizes of half their normal size at most (we have enough space for a maximum of 8 in each room)
Schools can adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of their children
Schools should support both pupils attending school and home learning- this is going to have huge implications on what we can deliver. We are currently posting work daily on the website. This will change as more staff are in class - they cannot do two things at once. We have a plan for this.
Parents WILL NOT BE FINED if they choose to keep their child at home (during the summer term).
School is expected to take the vulnerable children and children of CRITICAL workers (note the change from Key workers). This means that just because you are back to work it does not mean that your child will be entitled to return to school if they are not in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 6
There is new guidance about child care and child minders. They can start operating again as long as they observe the guidance set out by the Government
Children and staff in schools are not required to wear face masks in school
Staff should wear water resistant face masks if helping a sick child
We are action planning and risk assessing and will keep you informed as much as we can.
Before lockdown, we had already started deep cleaning regularly. This will step up and additional cleaning will also happen during the day
On Tuesday and Wednesday, senior leaders will phone parents of children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. You will be asked the question “Will you be sending your child back to school on June 1st?” The choice is yours and no judgement will be made, whatever you decide at this point.
Only in exceptional circumstances, will you be able to change your mind after that regarding a child coming into school. If you choose to keep your child at home that is fine. This is due to planning around staffing etc.
We have already found out which staff we have available at the moment.
We REALLY need an email address for each family; once we know who is going to be coming into school we would like to be able to send you more detailed information and advice. If your child is NOT yet returning to school, we might be able to email further support and advice directly to you.
If your child is NOT returning to school, that's fine; there will be an expectation that they engage with home learning every day.
We are still investigating how the provision of school meals and free school meals will work both for children coming back to school and for those remaining at home this term.
If schools are directed by the Government to open
This will be to the year groups specified, not to all year groups
Each child and staff member will be allocated to a group; they will remain in that group all day throughout the rest of the term, for lessons, breaks and lunchtimes.
We cannot guarantee that your child will have their normal teacher.
We cannot guarantee that your child will be in their normal classroom.
We cannot guarantee we can take everyone if we don’t have enough staff.
Depending on numbers we may have to make ‘limited offer’ for each group of children (i.e.not every day).
Classrooms will look different – we will need to remove some resources and, where there are desks, they will have to be spaced out.
Children won’t be able to share resources.
Children will have an allocated outdoor play space.
There will be strict rules about which entrance your child uses to come into/out of school.
Start and finish times will be different for each class to reduce numbers outside the school site.
You cannot send siblings in Year 2, 3, 4 or 5. They will be required to stay at home.
Only one person may drop/collect child – NO OTHER CHILDREN SHOULD COME.
Adults will not be allowed on the school site.
School will be closed to pupils for one day each week (not yet decided which one) to allow for additional deep cleaning
We will be in touch with parents of all children returning to school on 1st June to so you can discuss pastoral matters and things that we need to know e.g. bereavement, anxieties, home circumstances and learning. We would like to support the children as best we can.
This will be particularly important for children with Special Educational Needs, vulnerable children or those with ‘protected characteristics’. If you want us to know something and don’t need a conversation just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. This will make the “drop and go” system successful and avoid the need for conversations at the gate.
I am so sorry to sound so bossy (not like me at all!) and these rules go totally against our philosophy of being a warm and welcoming school. Whilst the government advice is there to guide us, we will take our own decisions, based on what we all feel is right for our children, families and staff. This will be based on risk assessment of safety. We may make different decisions to other schools as all schools are unique. You must also make your own decisions.
We look forward to talking to parents from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. If the information changes we will update you. It is incredibly confusing but go with your ‘gut feeling’ - they are your precious children and nobody will judge you either way.
Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.