Letter to parents dated 22 May 2020 and emailed to all parents of Y10 and 12 pupils.
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‘Dear Parents and Carers
I would like to update you as to progress regarding opening school more widely to Years 10 and 12 for some face-to-face support as the Government has requested.
As I write this the situation still remains unclear. We have been working hard on planning but any plans are subject to the final guidance for Secondary schools from the Department for Education, which has been promised this week. We also are awaiting the final go-ahead (or otherwise) from the upcoming Government review of the lockdown. The final decision will be taken then. We will be adopting a cautious, phased approach, acting on the advice and guidance provided by the SAGE expert scientific advisory group.
We will be preparing our buildings, our class groupings and doing everything we can to mitigate the risks so that staff, students and parents can have confidence in returning. Based on SAGE modelling, the hierarchy of controls the Government are asking us to factor into our planning to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 are set out below. We will be following these recommendations.
Controlling the transmission of the disease: minimising contact with children and adults who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
Management and control through personal hygiene: cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
Ensuring good respiratory hygiene: promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
Enhanced cleaning regimes: cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach.
Minimising contact and mixing: altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times).
We have carried out a detailed risk assessment which is being scrutinised by our lawyers, by Governors and by the Trust board over the next few days. This will of course be a working document and will be regularly reviewed.
If we are allowed to open more widely our initial plan is to have two groups of 30 students in year 10 in each day of the week, taught in small groups, in line with social distancing etiquette. This means that we will see all of year 10 within the week. For Year 12, the plan is to designate each day of the week to a particular timetable block to avoid clashes. Again, students will be taught in small groups and are likely to be in school three times per week for either the morning or the afternoon. Ideally students would come in from w/c 8 June, but, again, that is subject to Government advice. We are currently preparing our buildings to ensure risks are reduced as far as possible.
We all know that prolonged absence from school is concerning academically, socially – and for some children, from a welfare and safety perspective. Children benefit hugely from being in school and we do want to welcome our students back as soon as possible. When we have the final decision from the Government and when we have all its recommendations in place I will write to you again to give you much more detail about how we will operate with Years 10 and 12 to keep them safe so that you can make an informed decision about whether to allow your child to return to school.It would help us greatly in the meantime, however, if you would indicate your willingness to send your child into school by filling in the very short survey below. Thank you.
We have, of course, been open without incident every day since lockdown began including over Easter and half term . We will continue to be open for children of keyworkers.
Mrs E Nicholls