I would like to thank you for your continued support during these challenging times.
The school is now shut and only providing care for the children of parents who are Key workers and have already arranged attendance with the school.
We are trying hard to provide a provision for parents who have no other choice but to send their children into school. We do need to ask you to be very careful about making this decision and would recommend the following to reduce the spread of infection:
- Do not send your child in if they are ill, have a cold or any illness that could spread amongst the children attending school. We will have to send your child home, if they develop these symptoms during the day.
- Please ensure your children have clean clothes on daily, in case they have been exposed to any illnesses.
- I would recommend that when your child comes home from school, that they wash their hands, change clothes and the clothes are washed to reduce infection.
- Children should only bring their lunch, fresh clean water bottle and home learning work to school. No other items/ toys are required.
Can I please draw your attention to the following information identified by the Government:
How are critical workers defined?
Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place, so long as their job cannot be done from home.
Many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
We will monitor closely the experience of schools in identifying critical workers and their capacity to respond to the needs of critical workers. Government is working with representatives of school leaders to ensure they have the clarity they need in identifying critical workers. We will publish updates to this guidance should it prove necessary to provide further points of clarification over the identification of critical workers.
Should schools only offer places to children of single-parent critical workers and children where both their parents are critical workers?
Children with at least one parent/carer who is critical to the COVID-19 response can go to school if required.
However, many families with parents working in critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
Can support and teaching staff send their children to school?
Teachers and school staff are critical to the COVID-19 response, so can send their children to school. In the same way as for other critical workers – many such families should be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
Is it compulsory for critical workers to accept their place offer?
Many parents working in these critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
When making alternative arrangements, parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, or friends or family members with underlying conditions.
We take seriously the health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff and children. As such we are monitoring and acting on government issued advice concerning managing the coronavirus within education settings. Our schools are doing the same and as a Trust we are ready to take appropriate and coordinated action if it's required.
We will be monitoring the situation and updating our advice and information on a regular basis.
Latest Information from the Department for Education
On Sunday, further information was released regarding supporting children in school.
Further details on this announcement can be found here:
The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.
Update on assessments and examinations
Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve.
New free school meals guidance
We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.
Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.
Full guidance can be found here:
Update on school funding
We will put in place new measures, to reimburse schools for reasonable, additional costs that they face in order to stay safely staffed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Funding for all schools and colleges (including maintained and academy special schools, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, pupil referral units, general further education colleges and special post-16 institutions), whether from local or central government, will be maintained and not reduced because many pupils are not in attendance (either because of self-isolation, or where the institution has closed). This includes top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people, which will still be needed by the school to keep their staff in employment.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information: