On 18 March, the Government announced that as part of their ongoing response to COVID 19 all schools will be closed from 23 March. Government advice is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. The Government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible. 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.
Furthermore, the guidance from Swindon Borough Council is as follows:
- Children 14 or over should stay at home in the vast majority of cases
- The Government are asking all parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible. Settings are only being asked to remain open for those children who absolutely need to attend.
- Therefore, if one parent is a keyworker, and the other isn’t, the expectation is that the child should remain at home.
- If both parents are keyworkers but, can keep children at home around shift patterns etc then again, the child should remain at home.
- The provision is only available for those children who absolutely can’t remain at home, the more children who remain at home, the less chance of the virus spreading; which is why these measures have been introduced.
The Government have stated that, if they are able, schools should look to provide reduced provision and supervision for a very limited number of children. These children are listed as:
- Vulnerable children who have a social worker allocated to them and those with an Education Health Care Plan, although it is felt that they would be safer at home, especially if they are in the at-risk category.
- Children of key workers whose work is critical to the COVID 19 response. 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. Key sectors listed by the Government can be found on the following link:
Please contact the school as soon as possible if you would like the Head Teacher to consider if it is appropriate for your child to attend school. If you are a key worker of a child, you will be expected to provide evidence of this including your employer’s contact details and a brief explanation of your professional duties carried out in usual school hours.
Provision in school will only be made for students who meet these criteria and by prior arrangement with the Head Teacher. The hours the school intend to offer supervision of these students is from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Transport arrangements for those who require this service are in place up until the Easter holidays but have not been confirmed yet after this time.
Students who do not fall into these categories are to remain at home with appropriate care. Those students attending school will be supervised by available staff and will work on the online packages that are being sent to all students through EdulinkOne. We are not able to offer teacher directed lessons. Although we are hoping that TA’s will be available, due to staff shortages, students will probably not be working with the key workers they are used to. Parents should be aware that our pastoral support provision will also be reduced during this time.
Students attending school will be expected to maintain the highest standards of behaviour at all times and, for their own safety and wellbeing, must follow any instructions they are given by supervising staff. Students will be required to wear school uniform.
It is our intention for this reduced provision to be available from Monday 23 March. It is not yet clear if the school will be able to provide this reduced provision during the Easter holidays. If at any time, the school becomes unable to continue this provision in term time, local authorities will work with the Department for Education’s regional teams to ensure an alternative option is available.
Finally, under no circumstances are children to be sent into school if they have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does. Under these circumstances, you must follow the guidelines set out by the Government in the following link: