16 March 2020
You will be aware from the frequent news bulletins that this is a rapidly changing situation but I am writing to inform you of the latest guidance from the government. The Prime Minister announced a number of measures last week as part of the next phase of action to tackle the virus. One of these measures was the following:
Could I please stress the importance of this course of action if your child displays these symptoms and ask that you inform the school as soon as possible, stating that you are isolating your child for a period of 7 days. Please be assured that the school will be understanding of your situation no matter how mild the symptoms may be. The ‘stay at home’ guidance published on 12 March describes clearly what to do and how to decide if your child is well enough to return to school after the 7 day’s isolation has elapsed. Please be prepared to come and collect your child straight away if we ask you to as a result of him/her feeling unwell with a temperature or a new, continuous cough.
The government is not yet closing schools and I fully understand that this is a prospect that may cause anxiety but my staff and I are committed to keeping the school open for all students for as long as possible to minimise the impact on our young people’s learning. This is a reflection of the staff’s calmness, professionalism and commitment during this unprecedented time. However, we may need to take a decision to partially or fully close if there are insufficient staff due to illness or self-isolation to ensure the safety of the school community. In the event that the school has to partially or fully close, please be assured that we already have plans in place to provide all students with appropriate work and access to interactions with teachers via email and ParentMail. Year 6 pupils will be prioritised for attendance in the event of a partial closure. If there are sufficient available staff, other year groups may be asked to attend on a rota basis.
As yet, we have had no communication from the DfE (Department for Education), regarding arrangements for statutory testing (Year 1 phonics, Year 2 and Year 6 SATs and Year 4 timestables). Pupils should continue to practise these skills with the assumption that these tests will take place. Should the school have to close, we will provide work to support this process. We will update you as soon as further information is available.
We will be making decisions shortly about whether or not our domestic educational visits will go ahead. It is likely that we will be cancelling the majority of these. The school will communicate in plenty of time if we feel cancellations are necessary.
We are reviewing all extra-curricular activities, Parents’ evenings and PTA activities to either postpone, cancel or find an alternative means of carrying these out.
Please do continue to talk to your child(ren) about coronavirus. It is a worrying time for all. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children, and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.
I would also like to reassure you that we are paying close attention to the regular coronavirus updates and thank you for your continued support and understanding at this time.
Head of School