Menu
Carter's Charity Primary School

Update letter to families about the re-opening of schools.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

 

Phased Return to School Information

 

Dear Parents/carers

 

I am sure that after the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday regarding the opening of schools for Reception, Y1 & Y6, there are lots of questions you have.  Late Monday night the government released further guidance for parents and schools, but this new guidance has still left us as a school, and the local authority with lots of questions which need clarification too! Nationally, the unions are in discussions with the government and with the British Medical Association who think that “the Government’s plan is too fast, too confusing and too risky.”

 

What is the current situation?

At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the current guidance.  We will continue to provide care for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and those that cannot be safely cared for at home.  The overall message now, and in the future, is that it is safer to stay at home

 

What is the current government guidance?

The government have provided their advice, but as usual, this is vague and gives no clear direction.  This means that every school community will interpret it in their own way to suit their own circumstances!  We are also taking the advice of our professional associations, the local authority and other schools in the local area to try and find some clarification and consensus to move forward.  Please find the latest guidance by following the link:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

 

The current guidance is suggesting that if the government feel it is safe to do so, then the classes of Reception, Y1 and Y6 will return to school at the same time on June 1st and this will be in addition to our critical worker children.  It is also suggested that we have groups of no more than 15 children and those children are ideally not allowed to mix – the guidance recommends that they stay in the same group with the same adults.  There is also no expectation of 2m social distancing, although they have suggested other measures. As you can imagine, this presents its own issues regarding COVID safety and young children.

 

What is the school doing to prepare for June 1st?

The senior leadership team have spent the last two days having discussions with staff and our local authority advisor to begin making embryonic plans towards a phased return, based on the latest government guidance.  These plans will not be finalised or shared publicly until we are sure that we have the right plan for Carter’s, which follows the government guidelines.  However, I do want to share our current thinking with you because we are a school family and I believe that you need all the facts about the direction which the government wants us to take.

 

With the number of small groups (15 children in a group) that we will need to offer, not all children will be looked after by their own class teacher. Some groups will need to be looked after by our fab teaching assistants, and there is the possibility that children will not be in for whole weeks, at least at first. It is also very likely that children will not be in their usual classroom or with preferred friendship groups or following the usual school timetable and structure.  We know that this will cause anxiety for some pupils and parents.

 

Despite our very best endeavours, we are not going to be able to offer the known environment which your child left, although we will try our very best because we know your children.

 

In addition to a phased return, the teachers will also need to continue to offer childcare for critical workers and online learning and support for other year groups (Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5).  This will mean that whilst your children attend school, their learning will be the same as for the children who are learning at home.  To clarify, the children who attend school will not necessarily have an advantage of returning early, due to the heavy restrictions we face by welcoming them back.

 

What will happen next?

Please be assured that we will not re-open for the specified year groups until we are 100% prepared and our plans are based on what we as a school community need and want.  I anticipate (and hope!) that the guidance may be updated in the next few weeks to support a phased return, but until it is, we will endeavour to facilitate a safe return by interpreting the guidance ourselves to suit our school.

 

Bearing in mind the points above and the official guidance, I want you to know that we miss you and your children, and do want to welcome them back to school as soon as it is safe to do so! 

 

We remain committed to helping our school community feel safe and secure as we move forwards; if you as parents decide that the situation in school is too concerning, we would absolutely support you in the decision to keep your child/ren out of school.  We will not fine for non-attendance or let it affect their attendance record.

 

The speculation in the press and on social media will now be about how schools can open safely (or whether they should open at all before September), and it will intensify over the next three weeks.  As always, at Carter’s, we take the view that we need to consider all of our actions and communications to parents and children carefully, before making decisions.  These decisions will always first and foremost take into account the welfare and well-being of staff, pupils and parents in our school.  Once the school have made any decisions (following all government guidelines), we will let you know through our usual channels. 

 

Until then, please do not worry or compare us to other schools – we are unique and will make decisions which suit us as a school community.  We will continue to keep contact with you and continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times.

 

As always, if you need to talk, please do not hesitate to message me via Dojo or email me – we will get through this difficult period together.

 

Best wishes and take care,

 

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

 

Phased Return to School Information

 

Dear Parents/carers

 

I am sure that after the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday regarding the opening of schools for Reception, Y1 & Y6, there are lots of questions you have.  Late Monday night the government released further guidance for parents and schools, but this new guidance has still left us as a school, and the local authority with lots of questions which need clarification too! Nationally, the unions are in discussions with the government and with the British Medical Association who think that “the Government’s plan is too fast, too confusing and too risky.”

 

What is the current situation?

At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the current guidance.  We will continue to provide care for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and those that cannot be safely cared for at home.  The overall message now, and in the future, is that it is safer to stay at home

 

What is the current government guidance?

The government have provided their advice, but as usual, this is vague and gives no clear direction.  This means that every school community will interpret it in their own way to suit their own circumstances!  We are also taking the advice of our professional associations, the local authority and other schools in the local area to try and find some clarification and consensus to move forward.  Please find the latest guidance by following the link:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

 

The current guidance is suggesting that if the government feel it is safe to do so, then the classes of Reception, Y1 and Y6 will return to school at the same time on June 1st and this will be in addition to our critical worker children.  It is also suggested that we have groups of no more than 15 children and those children are ideally not allowed to mix – the guidance recommends that they stay in the same group with the same adults.  There is also no expectation of 2m social distancing, although they have suggested other measures. As you can imagine, this presents its own issues regarding COVID safety and young children.

 

What is the school doing to prepare for June 1st?

The senior leadership team have spent the last two days having discussions with staff and our local authority advisor to begin making embryonic plans towards a phased return, based on the latest government guidance.  These plans will not be finalised or shared publicly until we are sure that we have the right plan for Carter’s, which follows the government guidelines.  However, I do want to share our current thinking with you because we are a school family and I believe that you need all the facts about the direction which the government wants us to take.

 

With the number of small groups (15 children in a group) that we will need to offer, not all children will be looked after by their own class teacher. Some groups will need to be looked after by our fab teaching assistants, and there is the possibility that children will not be in for whole weeks, at least at first. It is also very likely that children will not be in their usual classroom or with preferred friendship groups or following the usual school timetable and structure.  We know that this will cause anxiety for some pupils and parents.

 

Despite our very best endeavours, we are not going to be able to offer the known environment which your child left, although we will try our very best because we know your children.

 

In addition to a phased return, the teachers will also need to continue to offer childcare for critical workers and online learning and support for other year groups (Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5).  This will mean that whilst your children attend school, their learning will be the same as for the children who are learning at home.  To clarify, the children who attend school will not necessarily have an advantage of returning early, due to the heavy restrictions we face by welcoming them back.

 

What will happen next?

Please be assured that we will not re-open for the specified year groups until we are 100% prepared and our plans are based on what we as a school community need and want.  I anticipate (and hope!) that the guidance may be updated in the next few weeks to support a phased return, but until it is, we will endeavour to facilitate a safe return by interpreting the guidance ourselves to suit our school.

 

Bearing in mind the points above and the official guidance, I want you to know that we miss you and your children, and do want to welcome them back to school as soon as it is safe to do so! 

 

We remain committed to helping our school community feel safe and secure as we move forwards; if you as parents decide that the situation in school is too concerning, we would absolutely support you in the decision to keep your child/ren out of school.  We will not fine for non-attendance or let it affect their attendance record.

 

The speculation in the press and on social media will now be about how schools can open safely (or whether they should open at all before September), and it will intensify over the next three weeks.  As always, at Carter’s, we take the view that we need to consider all of our actions and communications to parents and children carefully, before making decisions.  These decisions will always first and foremost take into account the welfare and well-being of staff, pupils and parents in our school.  Once the school have made any decisions (following all government guidelines), we will let you know through our usual channels. 

 

Until then, please do not worry or compare us to other schools – we are unique and will make decisions which suit us as a school community.  We will continue to keep contact with you and continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times.

 

As always, if you need to talk, please do not hesitate to message me via Dojo or email me – we will get through this difficult period together.

 

Best wishes and take care,

 

 

Top