RE: School closure due to coronavirus
20th March 2020
The government have made the decision that as of today schools will close for the vast majority of children until further notice.
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of Covid-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open ONLY for those children who absolutely need to attend.
Schools are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are the most vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by a social worker, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
Parents whose work is critical to the Covid-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors set out by the Government, where they cannot keep their child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for education provision. Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required. However, many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home, if this is the case every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
The critical sectors, defined by Government are set out in the guidance available HERE
Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home, and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. Any parent working from home has the capacity to keep their child safe within the home environment.
In line with other schools, would those parents who have submitted a key-worker form please confirm with your employer that, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of their essential public service and you are therefore unable to safely care for your child at home. We will require from all parents/carers of children who are attending school from next week onwards, evidence from their employer, confirming their role, their working patterns (days and hours), role and whether this is working from home or outside of the home.
My primary aim as Headteacher is to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus, whilst providing support to the families who genuinely need it. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in the wider society.
Our school will be operating using a skeleton staff for the foreseeable future. If attending, your child may not be cared for by their usual teacher. Please help us by keeping the number of pupils in school to a minimum – this protects the pupils who need caring for and the staff providing this service.
Should the capacity of the school to care for children be reduced to the point that we are not able to care for children safely we will first expect families with one key worker (as opposed to two) to care for their children at home. If we need to close entirely parents will be informed. If that is the case the following information from Bury Local Authority may be useful:
Parents/carers from key worker groups who require information about school place availability should email the admissions team at email@example.com or, if you do not have access to email, telephone 0161 253 5670 and leave a message. Please note that admissions staff are now working from home and will respond to your query as soon as possible. Their hours of work will be 8.30-4.45pm, Monday to Friday.
Thank you for your continuing support
Mr S Waddington