Dear Parents and Carers,
Once again I’d like to apologise for the late change of plan yesterday. I’d like to explain the situation as well as I can and offer what reassurance I can in the circumstances.
Yesterday, before 8pm, the Government had asked all Primary Schools to remain open. Those with staffing difficulties, like The Dales, needed to try to find a way to support as many children as possible to have as much time as possible in school. That’s what we did – we asked you whether or not you wished to send your child back to school, and those of you who did were included in the best plan that was possible to create yesterday. Our plan was shared and we were ready to go.
However, at 8pm, the Prime Minister instructed all schools to close from today and only offer time in school to the children of key workers and those classed as ‘vulnerable’. In a mainstream school all children with EHCPs are classed as vulnerable, but in a special school it is those children with vulnerabilities and needs beyond their special educational needs that are deemed to make a child especially ‘vulnerable’. At The Dales, we have always tried to do what we can possibly do to support all our pupils and their families and we will continue to do so.
This announcement from Boris Johnson last night meant that we were no longer able to carry on with what we had planned as the directive from the Government had changed. We also now have less staff available as members of staff with children have their own issues with childcare, as their children’s schools have also been ordered to close. Some of our staff are also shielding again due to their own health needs. So our plan needed to change and that’s what we will be sorting and sharing with you today.
Today we will be working on a plan to offer time in school to children who fall into either the ‘key worker’ parent or the ‘vulnerable’ category. If there is any capacity in school left, we will do our very best to respond to families in most need of our support. Parents will be contacted today to ask them if they are key workers and we will be consulting with social care to ensure that all ‘vulnerable’ children have at least some time in school.
Please accept my apologies for the late change of plan last night but be reassured that we will do all we can to help as many families struggling at this time as we are able to.
Can I just finish by saying a huge thank you for the support you show to the school and staff at The Dales. We are all living and working through completely unknown times and I just hope we are quick to return to some normality. Please stay safe and well!
With my very best wishes,