Dear Parents and Carers,
We wrote to you yesterday and, in light of the Government advice issued last night, I feel it is sensible to write again.
We are facing challenges that have been previously unseen and we are continuing to follow government guidance regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) and will continue to share relevant information with parents and carers.
As we are sure you will appreciate, we are currently dealing with a complex and rapidly changing situation. Our first priority will always be the health and safety of the pupils and staff in school.
Since learning of the risk that Covid-19 places on our staff and students, we have delivered a number of increasingly targeted activities to reduce the potential to spread the virus. This began with lessons reminding students on hand hygiene and bin-the-sneeze campaigns to introducing a formal hand-washing programme on arrival, before and after break, before and after lunch and on leaving school. We have operated a strict hygiene and cleaning programme as well as briefing staff regularly to ensure that we follow Government guidance.
Today, we introduced even stricter measures by asking parents and drivers not to enter the building. We have cancelled all external facing meetings and non-essential travel. We will not be holding Annual Reviews for the duration.
We have been advised at lunch time today that the NHS are removing medical services from school and Social Care have also confirmed that their staff will no longer be attending meetings.
As a school that supports children with special needs and as a parent, you will know that we care deeply for their wellbeing and safety whilst understanding the differing, often profound medical and learning needs that our students have. I need to be sure that we are a safe place for our students to learn and I cannot dismiss the need to socially isolate.
We have reviewed our staffing lists and it is clear that some staff will need to self-isolate for the foreseeable future due to underlying health issues; issues that would never normally affect their working life. Staffing levels are now a deep concern for me.
To be clear, we have based our actions on the Government guidance on what constitutes a ‘vulnerable individual’.
Based on this guidance, as it stands at the time of writing, we will be phoning some parents with the difficult news that we ask their child does not return to school until the worst of this pandemic has passed. We know that this will be very difficult for some parents who will need to continue to juggle work and social-isolation priorities.
As it stands, there are no confirmed cases within our school community.
At a strategic level, we have been making plans as to how we can best operate in these difficult circumstances. I cannot rule out closing the school if staffing levels reduce further. If school does not have your most up to date contact details, please provide them to us immediately.
Should you wish to discuss your concerns further, please do not hesitate to phone your child’s Key Stage leader or call in the office.
Sources of information: