To all our parents and carers

I write to ask whether you would complete another form for us as we try to plan ahead. The note on the forms says:

“As you will be aware the Government is encouraging all schools to seek to increase the number of pupils getting back to spending some time in school. The advice for special schools is:

“Special schools, special post-16 institutions and hospital schools will work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.”

We know that some families are starting to struggle to cope after such an extended time of absence from school. We also know that some of those who have been offered the current 2 days a week would really like more time for their children in school. On the other hand we know that some families have a high level of concern about their children returning to be in contact with others again and would turn down a place if offered. In trying to plan to move forward, our prime concern is to keep both pupil and staff safety our main priority. By putting extensive risk reduction measures in place, we have been able to offer about 30% of our pupils a place in school that is as low risk as we can make it. The difficulty is to find a way to expand what we are offering without compromising the safety measures we have relied upon to date. At the same time, a significant proportion of our staff are themselves still in a vulnerable category and cannot return to work. It is therefore not going to be possible welcome back all pupils in the immediate future.

We know many of you completed a form for us at the start of the Covid crisis, but we are sure things may have changed and would like to find out how you are now feeling. These forms have proved a successful way of us gathering information, so we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to complete it.”

The link to complete the form is:

http://tiny.cc/zgpfpz

Free school Meals Vouchers: we are aware that many families have had difficulty in accessing these vouchers. I’m afraid we are still having the same difficulties in working with this system. The Government gave the contract to EDENRED to run the voucher system and unfortunately it has had difficulties managing all the request and inquiries. The Admin team are working hard to ensure we give in all the correct information, but we know there have been delays and that sometimes it takes longer than the system states for the vouchers to be completely uploaded for your use. I’m afraid that once your claim for a voucher has been accepted, we can no longer access anything to do with this particular claim and therefore cannot assist. Our best advice is to be patient and use the system at times of the day when it is likely to be being used least – ie early in the morning or later in the evening. Please however let us know if having done these things, you are still having difficulty.

Covid-19 Testing: Sadly I do have to report that 2 people known to the school have or have had a confirmed case of Covid-19. Thankfully there are no current cross infection implications for people in school. I can also happily report that these folk are getting better. It does however remind us that we are not over this situation yet and all need to remain vigilant. Now testing is more available, we have taken the decision to close any group within school if someone from that group is being tested (because they have symptoms) . Hopefully the test results will start to come back quickly now. If the test is positive, then the group will be closed for 14 days and people advised to self isolate. If the test is negative, then all may return to school. This may cause some short term inconvenience, but we think it is the best way to minimize risk.

John Grant joins Facebook!! A number of people in the past have asked whether we have a facebook page and to date we have always resisted this. However, we now think it might be another way for us to stay in touch with you at this time so are in the process of setting up a page. Please therefore keep an eye out for us. Hopefully it should be up and running by half term.The link to the official John Grant School page will be added tothe website very soon!

I think that’s all the updates for the moment. Please if you can fill the form in for us and make sure you all keep safe and well

Pam

Pam Ashworth – Headteacher