19th March, 2020
Yesterday, Boris Johnson said that the government had been forced to change tack because the rate of Covid-19 infections was increasing faster than anticipated. He said that the public health benefits of keeping schools open had shifted and the scientific advice was that schools should close to slow the spread of the virus. However, there were exceptions to this directive. The exceptions related to children of Key Workers and Vulnerable children.
Key workers have been defined as follows:
• NHS Staff
• Police & Emergency Service workers
• Delivery drivers who need to deliver food and supplies such as petrol.
Vulnerable Children have been defined as follows:
• Any child with a social worker
• Any child with an EHCP - I am currently awaiting further guidance in relation to the parameters around this requirement. I interpret this as our most vulnerable and complex children.
I must emphasise, not all children and young people who have an EHCP will be expected to attend school from Monday 23rd March 2020. As a school, our staff attendance has dropped below 70%. We anticipate that further staff will have to self-isolate. We will be unable to run a full school curriculum as usual. Our staff will be providing further details of how we will be supporting our pupils at home. A large number of parents have already taken the precautionary measure to keep their child off school. Today our pupil attendance was 53%.
We ask you to advise us by return and at the latest by 9.00 am tomorrow, Friday 20th March. This will ensure that our contingency planning can be finalised. In the first instance please can you email the school to advise us of your requirements, answering the following:
- Are you a Key Worker and will need your child to attend school next week? Yes / No
- Do you consider your child to be particularly vulnerable and it is your intention to send your child to school from Monday 23rd March 2020? Yes / No
- I request the school to call me to discuss this further Yes / No
Please email your response to email@example.com by 9am Friday 20th March, please include your child’s name in the subject line of the email.
We will put advice on the website regarding today’s announcement relating to free school meals. We are carefully considering our best way of supporting our community.
We are expecting further exam guidance tomorrow morning. We will write to all year 11 parents informing them of the implications.
Thank you for your consideration, I appreciate your patience and understanding regarding these crucial and rapid changes.
Mr Les Milton