As you know, we are all facing extraordinary challenges at this time and the situation is placing pressure on all parts of society. Our staff have been doing all they can to keep our schools open since this crisis began and I would like to pay tribute to their remarkable commitment. They have been extraordinary and we will continue to play our part over the coming weeks.
As you may be aware, the Government made several very important decisions about schools:
The first announcement is that it has advised schools in England to close, except for certain groups of children, from March 23rd onwards as a further measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. No date has been set for when schools will re-open for all pupils.
From Monday March 23rd , the schools will continue to be open for the following groups of children:
- Children whose parents are frontline workers:
- Those classed as what the Secretary of State described as “vulnerable children”. These could be those who have a social worker and those with EHCPs and schools will contact families directly regarding these children.
For children in these groups, we have also been asked to try to remain open through the Easter holidays and we will do our best to achieve this. From Monday 23 March and through this period, our school will provide emergency childcare for these children. The Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has stated that you should only send your child to school if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should.
I hope you will recognise the difficult times schools and teachers now face. We are called on to provide emergency childcare at a time when many teachers’ first thought will be to remain with their families and children. It is essential that we will all pull together to support our emergency services and key workers and you can do this by minimising your call on our limited reserves. Therefore, children who do not fall into the groups listed above should remain at home with appropriate care. There may also be partners who work from home or other non-elderly family members who could provide childcare support. I must stress schools are closed for public health reasons and this childcare is an emergency measure only. Please support our staff and each other by respecting the need for key workers to have access to appropriate childcare at this time.
The second key announcement is that tests will not take place this summer. For children and young people, who have worked so hard to prepare for their SATs, this may be upsetting, and we sympathise with them. At the same time, we understand the decision the Government has made.
In the meantime, I would once again like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for your understanding and ongoing support in helping us to manage this unprecedented situation.
Please see school’s individual websites for more detail, including key contact details.
Please take care and look after yourselves.