22 March 2020
Re: Academy Opening for Key Workers Children and Vulnerable Students from Monday 23rd March 2020
Given the latest developments of COVID-19 and Coronavirus, both locally and nationally I wanted to highlight some developments in our provision for your children during this time. I am aware that even since I last wrote to you the stance on actions being taken by a range of business and sectors has changed. We have seen bars and restaurants being told to close and many high street shops will be following suit early next week. All of this is to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
It is clear from the scientific evidence that we need to do everything we can to halt the spread of the virus and every unnecessary interaction brings with it the risk spreading the virus. Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, over the weekend has said:
“You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should. #StayHomeSaveLives”
Equally there has been much comment from the NHS urging as many of us to stay at home where possible, practice social distancing and/or self and household isolation and make only essential trips should we need food or household provisions.
I write because it is becoming clearer that every interaction we have with other people at this time puts more people at risk. I know that you will want to limit this risk for your children and I want to limit the risk for the staff I will be able to have attend the academy to look after your children. Therefore, I would ask that you only send your children to the academy when it is absolutely essential and only on the days you actually need the support to look after you children. Many of you have already indicated that because of the nature of the critical work you do you will not need the provision every day, so if you can only send your children on the days that you do need it that will help enormously. We will open our provision for as long as we are asked to and as long as it is practically possible.
A further result of the latest developments from over the weekend is that we have made some changes to the provision and supervision of your students should they attend the academy. We will be supervising students, not teaching them. We will be asking them to observe social distancing arrangements, as well as frequently washing and sanitising hands. We will remind the students of these expectations each morning and how they can observe these through the day but I would appreciate your support in reinforcing these expectations. I will also reiterate that any child who is exhibiting symptoms, persistent cough and persistent high temperature should not be sent to the academy (follow self-isolating advice) and if your child develops these symptoms during the day with us we will ask for them to be collected and sent home. After all, if we can limit the spread of COVID-19 it will mean that your children stand a better chance of not getting ill, equally our staff will stand a better chance of not getting ill and this will help to protect both your families and their families and to remain as safe as they can.
The link to the latest Government advice on social distancing and limiting the spread of COVID-19 can be found here:
However, the section on social distancing:
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
They are to:
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
As I have indicated previously we are living in uncertain times, where the advice and guidance we are being asked to follow is regularly changing. However, it is clear that the risks from COVID-19 are increasing and that we must do our part to limit spreading the infection.
I hope you and your families can stay safe through these troubling times.