UPDATED Friday 20th March 2020
The Government has now issued further clarification of who is classed as a “critical worker”. The list is extensive. If you fall into the “critical worker” category, I am urging you to only send your child to us if you have absolutely no other childcare for them.
We only have a skeleton staff available at school due to the numbers that are in self-isolation or in a vulnerable category. I am concerned that we may not have enough staff to supervise the numbers of children safely should we be inundated with requests. If this is the case, we may not be able to operate at all and all families will lose out. So please do your very best to find alternative childcare, if you possible can, to ensure those families that really need the care can be helped.
As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of it is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Below you will see the list from the Government outlining who is in the “critical worker” category. If you feel you fall into this category and you have absolutely no other childcare, please email me with details so that I can ascertain the number of children we may need to look after from Monday. If you have emailed me or the office already, you do not need to do this again.
Please note that we are only able to provide care from 9am to 3pm, not before or after school, due to our limited staffing capacity. All children will need to bring a packed lunch as we have no onsite catering facility. Children attending will NOT be required to wear uniform, but should wear something comfortable and suitable for all types of activities.
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation at this very challenging time.
CRITICAL WORKER LIST:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.
UPDATED Wednesday 18th March 2020
You will have no doubt heard the announcement today from the Prime Minister that all schools will close on Friday, with one exception (see below). Until Friday at 6pm we remain partially open, for the same pupil groups as we accommodated today.
We have been asked to remain open for the following groups of children:
- Those whose parents are key front-line workers e.g. those who work in the NHS, emergency services, social care for the elderly, pharmacists and supermarket delivery drivers who do not have alternative childcare.
- Those that are vulnerable e.g. those who have an EHCP or have support from social services who do not have alternative childcare.
If you believe your child falls into either category, please email or call the office at email@example.com as we need to ensure we have the staff available to look after these pupils. We do not at this stage know which staff these will be. We will not however be able to offer breakfast club and after school club. We do not yet know about lunch provision, free school meals or KS1 fruit and milk, however I hope to have more information on this before Monday.
Whilst we are closed, teachers will be posting work for the children on our website Year Group Pages, please look for the “Working from Home” subheading.
We were hoping to use Google Docs to enable pupils to upload work for the teachers to have a look at, unfortunately this has not been possible, and instead, we have set up an email address for each year group e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org; year1@; etc…. to year6@. These email addresses are only to be used to upload work, not for anything else. Parents may use my email address email@example.com if you have any other urgent queries.
With this message I have attached a suggested timetable to help you to structure your day, a helpful website list and a reading challenge.
We hope to see everyone again after the Easter holidays and I wish you all the very best in these uncertain and challenging times. Keep healthy everyone!
URGENT: PARTIAL SCHOOL CLOSURE
Updated Tuesday 17th March 2020
I am sorry to inform you that from tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March, I will have to partially close the school.
We have a significant number of staff who are having to self-isolate and it is making it impossible for me to maintain the adequate levels of supervision to ensure the children's safety.
We will be asking all children to say at home, with the following exceptions:
- Reception, Years 2 and 6. This is so we can prioritise staffing in the year groups who are working towards SATs and Key Stage transitions.
- Any child whose parents are front line staff within the Emergency Services, the NHS, pharmacies or doctor's surgeries who do not have anyone else to look after their children during working hours. For families that this effects please contact the school office as soon is practicably possible so that the numbers can be ascertained.
These children should go to their classrooms as normal in the morning where there will be a member of staff to greet them (although not necessarily their normal teacher).
For the children who are in year groups 1, 3, 4 and 5, we will upload work by 10am onto the Year Group Pages of our website so that your child can continue working at home. We will also send home an exercise book with your child this evening for the children to do their work in whilst they are at home.
Thank you for your understanding and support in this ever changing, challenging situation.
Updated Tuesday 17th March 2020
Following the Government’s announcement this evening, we are asking that if anyone in your household has symptoms of Coronavirus (fever and/or persistent cough) you must not send your child into school, even if they don’t have any symptoms, but self-isolate for 14 days.
In addition, following the advice to increase social distancing and avoid non-essential contact, we are cancelling next week’s Parent / Teacher Meetings. We will send reports home with your child, hopefully on Friday or Monday, and should you have any questions arising from what has been written, we will book in meetings with the teachers once the current crisis has eased.
I will send any further updates as necessary. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and understanding at this very difficult time.
Friday 13th March 2020
To keep in line with the Government's current advice, I am asking that anyone within our school community (staff, children or parents) who has a new, continuous cough or high temperature, to self-isolate for seven days. If you do have these symptoms, please call the school's absence line to report this, or email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can ascertain the numbers being affected. We currently only have one child and one member of staff who I have asked to stay at home, a very small percentage of our community, so please do not panic, however, if you are at all worried, or you have someone in your household who is particularly vulnerable, I would err on the side of caution and self-isolate. These absences will be marked as "sickness" and will be authorised.
If we are instructed to close, or have to close due to insufficient numbers of healthy staff to operate safely, then teachers will set daily activities for the children and post these on the year group pages of our website, so that the children have work to be doing at home. Reading is always an excellent activity and a reminder that all children have logins to TTRockstars and Mathletics and should get on with as many activities from these sites as possible. There are numerous excellent resources on the following websites too.
I advise you to check your online connections to these sites and to our website now, to ensure they work.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding at this difficult time.