School Closure 19.03.20 to 20.04.20
Dear Parents and Carers, 18th March 2020
I never expected to write a letter like this, but we all find ourselves in an unexpected situation.
You will of course all be aware of the developing situation around Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Government’s ongoing announcements regarding measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. As you know, we take our duty of care extremely seriously and every decision is made with the best interests of your children in mind. Since the outbreak, we have taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the virus from impacting our schools and to keep your children, as well as staff and the wider community, safe. I have, however, had to make the hard decision to temporarily close all of our schools to all pupils EXCEPT those of key workers from Thursday 19th March until Monday 20th April. This is as a result of a number of staff being absent from school, making it hard for us to continue to provide the appropriate provision for your child, at this unprecedented time. As you will note, this period includes the Easter holiday which will run from Monday 6th April until Monday 20th April.
I am making this decision following the Prime Minister’s updates across the last few days, and in conjunction with the Department for Education, taking into consideration the latest public health guidance that:
- All members of a household should self-isolate for 14 days if anyone in the household has a fever or cough
- Anyone with underlying illnesses should self-isolate for 12 weeks
- Pregnant women are now considered to be a vulnerable group
The impact of this advice on staffing has meant that it is not possible to operate the school for all pupils safely. This is why we are now closed to all pupils except those who are children of the police, fire service and hospital/NHS services.
Whilst I understand this school closure will cause disruption for you and your family, we have robust plans in place so that your child can continue their education during this time. As always, we are committed to ensuring that our pupils receive the best possible education and will be working hard to minimise the impact of the temporary closure on your child’s education. Our daily education on Google Classroom will continue until the Easter holidays, and other websites which can be used, such as Spelling Shed and Times Table Rock Stars, are on each school’s website. If you would prefer a pack of work to be sent home, please let your child’s school know and we can organise this.
If your child is eligible for a free school meal, please note that we have contingency plans in place and will contact you further on these arrangements. In line with our safeguarding procedures, our inclusion teams will make contact with identified families over the telephone regularly in order to ensure that you and your children are not in need of anything. Again, individual schools will contact you directly regarding this as needed.
This is an unprecedented set of circumstances, and advice and guidance from a range of agencies is evolving almost hourly. We will keep you updated as events influence decisions, and our priority, as always, is the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and community. We will of course keep parents and carers updated with any developments and will constantly be reviewing opportunities to open the schools again in the near future. However, in the meantime I would like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for your understanding and ongoing support in helping us to manage this unique situation.
Dan Morrow – Chief Executive Officer