COVID-19 Update for Parents and Carers: 20th March 2020
Over the last few weeks, we have closely followed Government and Public Health England advice with headteachers, teaching and non-teaching staff across all of our nine Trust schools working incredibly hard to keep schools open until now.
In line with the Government’s announcement on Wednesday:
All Trust schools will close at the end of the school day on Friday March 20th and will remain closed until further notice for the majority of pupils.
As part of the initial announcement about school closures, the Government stated that:
schools will remain open as a childcare service only from Monday 23rd March for specified groups of children to help support parents who are key workers and for more vulnerable children including over the Easter holiday period
for parents who are keyworkers children’s attendance for the childcare service is NOT compulsory. If arrangements can be made for children to stay safely at home parents should do so
provision of food, likely to be in the form of food vouchers, will be made for pupils who qualify for Free School Meals (FSM) – further details to follow
SATs testing will not take place in May
Guidance published late on Thursday evening (19.3.20) has clearly identified the keyworker criteria for which children are able to access childcare at school.
To access this guidance from the Department of Education please visit this website:
If you are a key worker please contact School immediately and please also confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continued provision of your particular public service.
Our responsibility for safeguarding children will continue despite school closure and the new arrangements for limited childcare provision.
If you have safeguarding concerns about any child please share them immediately with:
Safeguarding Concern Reporting Number:
Children’s Advice Support & Services (CASS)
24 hours per day, 7 days per week
0121 303 1888 (Option 2 and Option 2)
0121 475 2874
0778 369 1660
Be reassured that we intend to do our absolute best to maintain as much stability for children’s education as possible and we have been planning for this eventuality. Whilst it is not possible to fully replicate the school educational experience for children whilst at home, we have put in place contingency plans so that all pupils can access appropriate learning activities and teachers are able to continue to support learning albeit at a distance. Government advice to parents remains as follows until further notice:
KEY MESSAGES FROM GOVERNMENT FOR ALL PARENTS
If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
We recognise that this is an unsettling, disruptive and worrying time for us all. We remain here to help all our families as much as we possibly can. Please contact us if you require support or clarification.