Thank you again for your continued commitment to protecting our community by keeping your child at home today. We have 3 children in school with parents of older children sensibly keeping their children at home. Given the government’s change in policy to what some reporters are calling ‘lockdown’, it is more important than ever that we maintain our social and physical distance. In discussions with parents, children staying at home has been achieved either through flexible working arrangements or recognising that older children do not necessarily need close supervision 100% of the time. This is fully in line with government guidance which states:

“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”

As you may be aware, the government has also asked schools to organise Easter provision for children of Key Workers. In the same way as we have done for our day to day provision, we have organised a questionnaire for Key Workers who will need their children supervised during the Easter holidays: Easter School Survey. Could we please ask for this to be completed by the end of tomorrow, Wednesday 25th March, so that we can start planning and staffing the provision on Thursday.

Whilst the provision is yet to be designed, it is likely to look much more like regular school than a youth holiday facility. As an educational establishment we do not have the resources or the skills to run holiday clubs, and sadly with Youth Centres closed, these skills are no longer readily available in the local community. We felt it important to warn parents of this in advance, as we do not wish students to be disappointed by what is offered. It will be learning rather than play.

Within the constraints of 2 meter distancing rules, we also feel that this will be a much safer approach. Guided by the governments ‘Stay at Home’ message, we are assuming that we will only see students who are too young to stay at home without supervision, and whose presence at home would render their parents unable to do their vital jobs. As such we will continue working with this small number of students in the way that we have thus far.

In line with the new government guidance we are reducing the school to skeleton staff. In practice this means that we are closing the school office. Until the installation of our new phone system planned for Easter, this means that the office is not only not open to visitors, but there is no phone answering service either. In the interim, if you have any queries, please email: . All of our support staff apart from those keeping our IT network operational will also work from home, but will be available by email. This includes staff who are trying to resolve the situation around school trips and visits which can now no longer take place.

The reality of school life is that there will be a Senior Leader on duty, one teacher with the small group of children and the IT team onsite. Arrangements with the kitchen are under review. If you have any queries of concerns please do email and we will call you back on the phone number you have provided in your email. Thank you again for your patience with this arrangement and with our online learning tools, which are suffering under the burden of every school and business in the country accessing them.

A final thank you for your support in helping us, insofar as is humanly possible, to stay safe and stay home.