School Target 2019/20 = 96%
I know there is a great deal of frustration that the answers are not coming quickly enough from the government, but I am reassured that they have teams who have been working around the clock to try and find solutions to many of the issues that we are facing at this worrying time.
I am also aware that parents were expecting the government to announce a wide closure of schools and you are troubled by the fact that on the one hand, the Prime Minister has announced wide measures to restrict travel and promote social distancing, but on the other, he has kept schools open.
The Prime Minister was clear yesterday that people should work from home if possible, but he was also clear that essential functions need to continue, and schools are considered an essential function at this point.
This is having a huge impact on schools and school leaders dealing with incredibly challenging situations when it comes to ensuring the well-being of staff and pupils alike.
Many schools will have to close in any event through lack of staff when teachers and school staff are forced to self-isolate, this is particularly prevalent in the small school sector such as ours.
The advice is that if headteachers and governors judge that due to a lack of staff, they cannot open their school that day then don’t. However, we must do all we can to follow the government's advice and offer some support to the families and children in our care until the government can announce its longer-term plans for schools.
Rest assured that we will continue to do all we can to maintain order and some sense of normality for the children in our school.
The following measures have been put in place in order to maintain high standards of hygiene:
Promoting the importance of handwashing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap in the following circumstances:
Before leaving home
On arrival at school
After using the toilet
After breaks and sporting activities
Before eating any food, including snacks
Ensuring pupils and staff understand that they must cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual
I would ask that you encourage good infection control practices, such as thorough handwashing, at home and keep your child informed about the things they can do to discourage the spread of infection.
Ensuring staff/pupils that are unwell seek NHS advice and self-isolate as per advice given.
Teachers are making preparations that in the event of a school closure, children would have enough relevant/purposeful activities to keep them occupied and learning.
In the meantime as per the current government advice, only children showing symptoms of the virus (a new, dry, persistent cough and a high temperature 37.8 degrees and above) should be kept off school or children who have another illness which would, in normal circumstances keep them off school. All other children, as per guidelines from the DfE should be in school.
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now 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
Take the online NHS symptoms questionnaire https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
This situation is unprecedented and as such we can only follow policies and procedures given to us by the DfE and Public Health. Please bear with us - we will not have all of the answers, but we will do our best to maintain as near normal a situation as we can for all children.
Mrs J Travers