All schools and academies in England will close at home time today and will remain shut until further notice as part of the government’s plans to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, many will remain partially open to help support those most in need, including our most vulnerable pupils and the country’s key workers.
Let us know if you are a key worker
The government has issued guidance on the jobs that fall into the category of key worker – the list can be viewed here/https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
If you feel you are in one of these categories and you are unable to keep your child safely at home, please click here/visit this link to complete a short form so we can make the appropriate arrangements.
- You will need confirmation from your employer, that based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this public service.
- It is not a compulsory requirement to send your child to academy even if you are considered a key worker. The advice states that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
- Pupils can continue to attend academy from Monday if they have one parent classified by the government as a key worker.
We ask you to complete the form as soon as possible but by no later than 3pm on March 2020. If we haven’t received a completed form from you by then, we will assume that your child will not be needing a space at the academy next week. The form should take no longer than five minutes to complete.
Once we have everything we need from you, we will confirm the arrangements for your child as soon as possible.
Who should not complete this form?
Whilst we want to help as many of our families as we can during this difficult time, we must prioritise pupils in line with the advice issued to us by the government:
- Unless your work is considered to be critical to the COVID-19 response or you work in one of the critical sectors listed, your child is unlikely to be allocated a place.
- A reminder that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
- The parents of our most vulnerable pupils will be contacted directly by the academy to confirm their arrangements.
Keeping your child safe is our number one priority
As has been made clear by Public Health England, smaller groups of pupils in schools and academies are considered to carry a lower risk. Please rest assured that our teams will be cleaning academy premises regularly, and we will also be talking to pupils about the importance of washing their hands properly, catching coughs and sneezes and disposing of used tissues.
Our staff will also be on alert for pupils who display symptoms of the coronavirus. If a pupil should become unwell, they will be moved to a safe, isolated room until you can collect them and take them home.
Arrangements for pupils at home
For all other pupils, our staff will be working remotely and will be setting homework either online or through work packs. We want our pupils to understand that this is not a school holiday and that they are expected to continue to learn from home. We plan to be in regular contact with parents and carers over the coming weeks to discuss how your child is progressing.
For pupils entitled to free school meals
We are committed to ensuring that pupils who are eligible for free school meals can still access them, even if they are not in academy. We have made arrangements so that your child can come and collect a pre-prepared hamper at the school gates from 12pm every Tuesday.
If you or your child start to feel unwell over the coming weeks
If in the coming weeks someone in your household is advised to self-isolate by the NHS, please let us know as soon as possible using the email address email@example.com. We will need your child’s name, year group and academy. The latest guidance from the NHS can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.
We will remain in close contact with you
These are clearly unprecedented times for us all, and we are having to make tough decisions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our pupils, staff and the wider community. I would however like to reassure you that we will support you in the best way we can in the coming weeks and months.
We plan to remain in regular contact, and I ask you to do the same if you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, I take this opportunity to thank you again for your continued support of the academy.