4th November 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been lovely to see all the children again. They have settled back into the routines of school so well. The government issued their guidance to schools this afternoon for the national lockdown which remains largely unchanged to their guidance from September.
- They reiterate that being in school is vital for the children (for both their education and their well-being) and that the benefits outweigh the low risk from Covid-19.
- They advise we should continue with our risk assessments and put in place proportionate protective measures.
- Face coverings for primary aged pupils are not required.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable adults should work at home and clinically extremely vulnerable children be educated at home. Adults and children in this group will receive letters to say they are in this group. Everyone else should come to school.
- The advice is that children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend education.
We have reviewed our risk assessment in the light of this and have made a few changes to ensure safety during the national lockdown. This is because:
- we recognise that in a special setting social distancing is really challenging;
- as yet no additional guidance has been provided for special schools recognising our particular circumstances;
- there are many more of us in school at any one time than in the previous national lockdown;
- we want to support our whole community to feel confident to come to school and reduce anxiety;
- we are determined to make school as safe and happy as possible.
For these reasons,
- we ask that all parents who are not exempt wear face masks for drop off and collection from Monday 9th November at the latest;
- please ensure you keep a safe distance from other families as far as possible at arrival and departure and arrive as near as possible to your allotted time slot;
- staff in school have clear fronted face masks to be worn as required, for example, in communal areas or for health issues. I will have mine with me tomorrow and show it to you before they become commonplace around school. Feel free to ask any questions;
- we will be making slight adaptations to the timetable to ensure resource use is as safe as possible and to reduce further contact. I know this may lead to disappointment if your son or daughter’s timetable is slightly different. I ask for your support in this because our aim is to keep our entire community well and what the right balance is not the same for all;
- please follow all national guidance in regards to the lockdown.
As you will be aware if staff are ill or staff have to isolate because they have been contacted by track and trace this puts pressure on staffing and may make it unsafe to have all classes in. This may mean that we need to contact you in a morning to say that a particular class is closed. We will do everything we can to avoid this. Safety is paramount and we will only do this if we have no choice. I hope that preparing you for this possibility will help.
Thank you so much for working with us. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything reasonable, possible, practical and sensible to keep our community safe and to ensure school can remain the happy, vibrant place that it is! Our children have been attending so well and enjoying all that they are doing and we want to take every step possible to make sure this continues to be the case. We so appreciate your support, flexibility and positivity.
I do hope you and your families stay well and safe.
Very best wishes