Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to you with more detail following the government’s announcement about opening schools to more children from after half term, subject to further scientific advice (due on 28th May). We have now received further information and guidance from the Department for Education, which we are using to plan for receiving more children.
I understand that announcement has raised a number of concerns, worries and questions from parents. Let me assure you that the safety of your children and of our staff is our main priority. Schools will be closed over half term and on 1st and 2nd June in order that we can fully prepare for the return of more children starting with year 1 pupils only on 3rd June. Your headteachers will provide you with more details about these arrangements in the very near future. We are planning on welcoming reception children back on Monday 8th June, year 6 on Thursday 11th June and finally nursery on Monday 15th June.
The provision currently in place for vulnerable and key worker pupils will continue. Our schools will of course teach pupils in much smaller groups in line with the government’s guidance. We will also be making changes to the usual working day. The Head of your children’s school will write to you giving you more details about the changes that will be made and arrangements for dropping off and picking up children which will also change. Although we will do everything we can to make our schools as safe as possible, we cannot of course completely guarantee your children’s safety in respect of Covid-19.
At this stage, it is too early to say much more other than to give you some idea of the steps we are being asked to take in response to this announcement. These include ensuring class sizes are small, limiting the amount of contact between different groups of children and additional protective measures, such as increased cleaning and encouraging good hand hygiene.
I will point out that the guidance is clear that parents of eligible children will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.
It is important that we know exactly how many children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 will be attending when able to do so. You will receive a call from school this week to ask if you will be sending your child in. If you have missed the call please contact the school closure email address (as detailed on each school website). Knowing exactly how many children will be attending will really help us to plan for their return.
Finally, we know that there are many parents reading this who are not affected and who will be expected to continue to provide home schooling alongside the resources we are sharing. Due to safety measures, and the guidance that is governing how we operate during these challenging times, we will be unable to accommodate additional children other than those in the year groups detailed earlier. We will not, therefore, be able to accept requests for siblings in other year groups.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Your headteacher will write again, next week, with further information.