Coronavirus Update 20/03/20
20th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Coronavirus Update 20th March
You are likely to already be aware that the Government is closing all schools from today. However, the Government has also asked schools to continue to open from Monday to provide a safe space for children of key workers and vulnerable children. The key document, published today, can be found here. It includes:
“…the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend....
…Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- 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.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.”
This document includes a list of key workers which includes:
- Health and social care
- Education and childcare
- Key public services
- Local and national government
- Food and other necessary goods
- Public safety and national security
- Utilities, communication and financial services
School staff will be contacting you today to ask you if you wish for your child to attend school from Monday. We will prioritise requests based on children’s needs and your employment role. We will be able to partially open from Monday to provide a safe space for the children who need to attend and will continue to do so for as long as we can and are required to do so. We will be open for the same hours as normal but the service we can provide will be different from a normal school day. Once we know which children need to attend, we can plan how to best meet their needs.
We are also planning ways to support families to look after children at home; such as, lending libraries, activity packs, drop-ins and free online resources.
We will continue to support our children in receipt of free school meals with vouchers, until we know that there is an alternative approach up and running.
Please be reassured that we will do all we can to help the children and yourselves at this very difficult time.
Very best wishes,