Advice and Guidance to Parents Regarding School Closure
This information was updated 10:00, Friday, 3rd April.
For the vast majority of our parents, school closure will mean that their children will be studying at home until further notice.
On Friday 20th March we sent home emails with the work that students can do and guidance on how to drop off and exchange that work with their teachers for marking. Those documents are also available here.
It is very important that they complete this work and that parents encourage and assist them in doing so. The length of this closure means that serious damage can be done to their education if they do not.
Given the shortage of staff available we cannot currently open the school. A telephone survey of all families eligible under the government criteria has shown that two children would be directly affected by this and their details have been passed onto the Local Authority who will arrange provision for them.
This decision will be kept under review but the school remains closed at this time.
Children whose parents are key workers and who cannot keep them at home (this is very rare given that secondary age children are usually old enough to remain at home unsupervised) may be admitted to school if no other care option is available.
All other children/families classified as vulnerable have notified the school that the children will be kept safe at home.
Any child not on the register of pre-identified key worker cases cannot be admitted into school – we apologise for the inconvenience this causes, but know that parents understand the very important reasons that this has to happen.
To be on the key worker register parents must have emailed the school by the Thursday of the week before they are due to be in explaining the situation of why they cannot keep the child at home - with a photo of their staff ID attached to the email.
The school is currently shut but the situation will be kept under review as we continue to communicate with our key worker and self-isolating families.
The full list of key worker occupations published by the government includes:
- Frontline health workers such as doctors and nurses
- teachers and social workers
- Workers in key public services including those essential to the justice system, religious staff, and public service journalists
- Local and national government workers deemed crucial to delivering essential public services
- Workers involved in food production processing, distribution, sale and delivery
- Public safety workers including police, armed forces personnel, firefighters, and prison staff
- Essential air, water, road and rail transport workers
- Utilities, communication and financial services staff, including postal workers, and waste disposal workers
With the restricted number of spaces available schools must sometimes prioritise. Given our proximity to the Royal London Hospital – if spaces become restricted we will prioritise the children of frontline NHS staff first.
The guidance on this issue from govt. states…
"If your work is critical to the Covid-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision," the government said.
However for reasons of reducing the risk of infection to those children it stressed that "every child who can be safely cared for at home should be" and asked workers to consult their employers to confirm whether "their specific role is necessary".
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
In light of this guidance we must also ensure that any child who does come to school…
- Wears full school uniform so that the separate clothes they wear at school can be removed at home to reduce the risk of cross-contamination between home and school.
- Is kept an appropriate distance from other children whilst in school at all times i.e. 2m apart in class rooms and at playtimes. This will involve staggered break and lunch times so that children can be kept further apart.
- No child, parent or visitor should come to the school if they display any symptoms of corona virus (COVID-19) such as a new persistent cough or high temperature.
- Parents should try wherever possible to reduce any travel on coaches, buses or public transport on the way to and from school.