To all our parents and carers,

I am sorry that it has been a while since I have given you all an update, but I can assure we have all been working really hard on a number of fronts.

• Our site team have been overseeing a deep clean of our whole school premises, ensuring that work on a redevelopment of our gardening area has continued, and have been in school, when others are isolating to receive supplies
• Our IT Team have been working on getting our new School Management Software working well – it is because of this that I am able to email you all directly
• Our Admin team have working on getting stocks of the hygiene materials and protective equipment for staff in place – not an easy task in the current climate as of course the NHS have first call on these.
• Judy our Business Manager has had to find a way to send out 70 vouchers to support our families who are entitled to Free School Meals – each one had to be processed separately!!
• The Senior Leaders have been trying to work through risk assessments and organisational details to try to ensure when we do reopen the school will be as safe as possible for all.
• Our teachers and Jo, our Family Support Adviser, have been keeping in touch with you all to try to support you in providing some activity for the children whilst at home, and also checking that everyone is OK. New packs of ideas for pupils will come out to all after Easter.
• We have also kept in touch with all who support our families in social services – attending many meetings via phone or video conferencing.

As we approach what should have been the Easter holiday our situation is now as follows:
• The school building is now ready to receive some pupils again
• We are close to having the hygiene supplies we need, further deliveries expected/hoped for over the next 2 weeks.
• Whilst the overall Government guidance remains that those children who can be looked after at home, should be at home; we have a plan for a very limited re-opening. Just over 30 pupils have been identified who, for a range of reasons, we have risk assessed as being a priority. These families have been contacted, and children have been offered 2 days a week in school. I know there will be other families who would really have appreciated some support in this way. Decisions have therefore not been easy. What we have tried to do is to start small and offer something that can be safely sustained.
• In order to operate safely we are aiming to have very small groups of pupils (biggest is 5 – most are less) and staff operating in total isolation from each other. There will be a day in between the times that any area is used, so that it can be cleaned well before being used again. These measures do however severely limit the space we have available.
• Our staff are very keen to come into school to help with re-opening but many are, unfortunately, not available to do this, because of the current circumstances.

We know that this is a very difficult time for everyone; and know that the pressures created by having the children at home for a very long period of time are, and will, be difficult for many. Some of our families have let us know that at the moment, despite this difficulty, they believe their children are safer at home – not wanting to take the risk of mixing with others yet. If you have not had a call or email about an offer of a place after Easter, this means your child is not on our current priority list. However, we will be keeping everything under continual review, so if you believe you have a high priority reason for asking for a place, particularly if all the carers in a family are involved in “Key Working”, please let us know.

For this, or any other concerns, you can continue to contact the school over Easter either by phone: 01493 720158 or by email . Both will be checked regularly.
It would be wrong of me to say I hope you enjoy the Easter holiday. These are such strange times, that most of our usual pleasures and recreations are unavailable. I do however very much hope that you all keep safe and keep well.

Very best wishes

Pam Ashworth