13th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
THE POTENTIAL OPENING OF SCHOOLS FROM THE 1ST JUNE
First can I congratulate you all on the absolutely amazing job you are doing supporting your children at home. We have loved seeing and hearing about all the work and exciting activities that you have been completing and this is a testament to the excellent job you are all doing. I know many of you are telling us that some days are harder than others and, on some days, you are having a wonderful time making so many magical memories for the future. In years to come what is it you would like your children to remember about their Covid19 lockdown time? I know I would want the memories to be happy and involve lots of special moments. So congratulations on a job well done so far!
On Sunday night we had a message and plan from the Government outlining a road map of how we are to exit lockdown. We are told there will be further guidance this week.
So far we are told that Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are expected to return to school FROM the 1st June. We are also told that the aim would be that all other year groups would return to school for the last month of the term if the conditions are right.
Throughout all of this lockdown School has tried to be very honest, communicate as fully as possible and always put the safety of the children and staff first. The briefing by the Prime Minister has only raised more questions for myself, staff and our Governors and none of us have any of the answers. Our hope is the additional guidance will provide some help and answers but if I am totally honest, I don’t believe it will answer all of our concerns. Schools will be left to implement the plans and whatever we do some people will agree and some people will disagree.
There are certainly some key questions regarding Health and Safety for us to consider before we open. Then we will need to complete a very thorough Risk Assessment with the support of the Local Authority, staff and Governors. We are very clear that if any of the answers to the questions in the risk assessment cause us health and safety concerns then WE WILL NOT OPEN IN FULL. I will NOT put staff or your children in situations that could undo all the excellent work of the NHS and our other critical workers. You also must make your own decision about whether you feel school is safe enough for your children. You may feel the time is not yet right for your child to return to school. Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you and your family and we will respect that.
The questions we need to consider include:
How many children will we be able to safely accommodate?
How many staff will be in a position to return to work? Parents need to be aware it may not be their child’s class teacher in the class. Some staff are shielding or clinically vulnerable and are therefore not able to be in work. Some children may not be able to attend as we do not have enough staff to meet the needs of that individual child. Any child with specific individual needs will need an individual risk assessment.
How many parents will want to return their children to school?
What will the curriculum look like? As some children will still be learning at home we will follow the same work. The rest of the time in school will focus on outside activities or wellbeing activities.
We will need to adapt the school building to accommodate guidance and ensure social distancing. Some aspects of the guidance will be a challenge within our school building.
We have published the guidance issued for parents from the Government on the school website under latest news so you can make your own fully informed decision.
We need to fully read and digest all the guidance and then we will let you know the plans we have. At the heart of all of our decisions will be the health and safety of our children and staff in school.
These are tough times for us all. The staff at Upperby School have been amazing, providing work for children to complete at home, staffing the childcare hub for key worker children and a listening ear through the telephone calls we have been making to you. We will continue to do our best but please be rest assured that any decision we take will not be taken lightly and the safety of ALL will be paramount.
Thank you for your continued support.
Stay safe, stay alert and protect lives.
Mrs J Hodgkins