To all our parents and carers

Can I firstly thank you all for working with us so well and being so understanding during this really difficult term. Our aim has always been to keep the school open to as many pupils as possible, whilst at the time trying to cautious, but measured, in the decisions we have made about any closures. As you know we have gone beyond the national recommendations in closing when we have been awaiting Covid tests, rather than waiting until we have a result; but I think this has been recognised as a necessary precaution given the vulnerability of many of our pupils. That doesn’t however stop closure been really difficult for many of you to manage, so thank you again for your understanding.

I’m afraid I have one last closure to announce for you all. You may have seen in the press that schools were given the option to close early this term – with Thursday 17th becoming the last day. Given all the closures we have had, and the fact that we had various events planned for that day, we have been working really hard to remain open on the 18th December. The difficulty is always that when other schools shut, we lose staff because their young children are at home and because of Covid, often other childcare options, like Grandparents, are not available. We have therefore been doing regular count ups and risk assessments about Friday and until last night thought we could still stay open. Last night however, I heard of one more local primary school that is shutting and this put more staff out of action. We now have 25 staff out on Friday (over a quarter of our staff) and it is becoming unsafe to stay open. We have therefore reluctantly decided to shut on Friday 18th December. The last day for the pupils will be Thursday 17th December, ie tomorrow.

Today, we will be looking through the events planned for Friday and trying to adapt them to ensure not too much is missed. I have been on the hotline to Santa, and he has managed to change his schedule so that he can come tomorrow morning instead of Friday – phew!!!

Once again I apologise for the inconvenience I know this will cause to many, the only good news is that all recent Covid tests have returned negative, and as a result we will hopefully have all classes in on the last day.

Something I do need to ask is that we will need to know if your child develops Covid symptoms over the first 2 days we are shut. These as I am sure you know are:

  • A high temperature – over 37.8 degrees
  • A persistent cough
  • A loss of taste and/or smell

Should this happen, please phone the school on 01493 720148 and leave a message; and/or email me at: head@johngrant.school . Please let us know that the symptoms have started, but also book a test (if at all possible) for your child. It is then important you let us know the result. We will then need to let others know, who may have had contact with your child on the last day or two of term, that they may need to isolate. Please be aware that if you do need to self-isolate now after a positive contact, the new Government regulation is that this is for 10 days, not the previous 14 days.

We will of course be following the same rules for staff who may develop symptoms over the weekend and let you know if your child has had any contact.

As we all know, Christmas itself is likely to be very different this year for all of us, but I very much hope you find a way to enjoy it in the best way you can. I would like to thank all the staff who have so creatively found ways to keep Christmas special for the children in school.

Let’s all hope for a much better and healthier 2021.

Take care and very best wishes to you all – we will see the children again on Monday 4th January.

Pam

Pam Ashworth

Headteacher

16.12.20.