18th March 2020
I know many of you are feeling anxious about the coming weeks and I want to assure you that at Palatine we are trying our very best to plan to support you all. In fact I had written you a rather lengthy letter which I seem to have managed to delete so please excuse me if this one is less than my best!
Yesterday the government announced that schools would close except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children including those with EHCPS. As yet there has been a lack of clarity over all jobs that meet that criteria. However, we have started to plan.
I would like to thank those of you who are socially distancing your children (for health reasons), who confirmed your intentions with us today. This was really helpful. Thank you. Tomorrow we will be contacting the rest of our families and I ask that you keep your phone with you. This is because I know some of you feel you would like to socially distance your children now whilst others of you feel the routine of school will be best. It would be really helpful to know your intentions as this will help us to know maximum staffing levels required.
In order to complete our planning we need to know the specifics of the government’s key worker priority list. In part this is because we need to know whether staff who are well are able to work or not which is dependent on their children’s schools being able to provide for them.
We understand this information will be made clear in the next few days at which point we will be able to make a complete plan which will depend on the number of staff who need to self-isolate or socially distance (for those adults with underlying conditions). This plan may not be ready for Monday. However, we will have an interim plan in place for the early part of next week.
Today we started sending home the home learning packs for those children already at home and uploading information to the website. This will continue tomorrow and the plan is that everyone will have access to this by the end of tomorrow. Please do not try and do it all at once, it is there to help you. If it is not helpful, then leave it. There is no expectation it must be done rather that we want to support you through this. We will endeavour to add to this over the coming weeks. We are also working on a communication plan to ensure we keep in touch with you all whilst you are at home.
The children have been wonderful today (as ever) and it has been a pleasure to see them calmly learning, laughing and enjoying what they are doing. We should be very proud of them all!
I would like to thank you all for your continued support and kind words. I appreciate it is not easy waiting for news and waiting for plans and your patience really helps. I know that the staff team really appreciate all the thoughtful comments from you and it has meant a great deal to me personally to feel so supported by you all. Thank you so much.