Should I send my child to school next week?
Published on 20/03/20
This message has been sent to parents and carers today:
We are working to an incredibly tight timescale to turn around this provision. Please show patience and understanding in this extremely challenging situation.
If have decided to send your child to school next week, or are considering it, please read all of this information.
If you have already spoken to a member of our staff today about the issues raised below, you do not need to do anything else.
Why are schools staying open to certain students?
Schools are staying open to allow the country to continue to function. At this time, schools are changing their role from providing education to looking after children who need a safe space to be during the day.
The government has said that it is safe for small numbers of children to meet in school. However, the more children who come to school, the more mixing there will be. As the country is adopting a policy of social distancing, you should only send your children to school if you absolutely have no other choice.
Which children can attend school next week?
The government has said schools will be open to the following students:
- The children of key workers as stated in the list from the government (see list at bottom of this message).
- Children with EHCP.
- Children with Social Workers.
It will not be business as usual at school.
If your children are old enough to stay home alone, or you have a responsible person who can stay home with younger children, we strongly recommend that you do not send your child to school.
The reasons for this are:
- Your child will be exposed to far fewer people at home
- The country is working to flatten the curve of the virus; keeping children at home will benefit us all
- You will be supporting Key Worker families who have no option but to send their children to school.
Please remember that children should not be supervised by grandparents or other family members who are over 70 or in a high-risk group.
What will my child do at school?
Children will not be taught lessons.
Instead, they will complete the home learning that our teachers have set for all students to complete, whether they are in school or at home.
There will be a mix of physical activities, book work and learning at the computer each day. The teachers supporting your child may not be subject specialists as we are operating a staff rota to support social distancing; children are expected to show independent learning skills while in school.
Students will likely be in mixed year groups.
How will children at school use social distancing?
In keeping with other areas of society, children in school will be practising social distancing. They will be seated apart, told to wash their hands on entry and routinely through the day, and reminded of the importance of keeping a distance from each other during social times.
If a child shows COVID-19 symptoms at school, they will be isolated immediately. We have a designated isolation room where students can wait until their parents pick them. Parents will be contacted immediately and asked to pick up their child as a matter of urgency.
How will this be staffed?
Please appreciate that we will have a skeleton staff in school and so may not be able to provide the usual learning support service. We will ensure that students are safe and supervised, but may not be able to provide the usual standards of education. We will ensure that we have a first aider in school.
Will my child be able to have lunch at school?
We anticipate we will have the facilities to provide meals in school, although there may not be the usual range of options.
Students who usually receive Free School Meals will not have to pay.
We have not received any guidance from the government about whether other students have to pay, so please note that there may be a charge.
What about my children’s learning if they stay at home?
You child will be accessing exactly the same work at home, but remotely. We will be sending out regular home-learning bulletins from next week. If you have any concerns about your child’s learning and progress, please contact your child’s Pastoral Manager.
If you wish to change your mind about your child attending next week please contact the school asap via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or, if you don't have email, on 0114 236 9991.
List of key worker roles:
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 arm’s 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.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Many thanks for your co-operation.
Mrs Sarah Sims
Head of Silverdale School