To All our Parents and Carers

Firstly I hope you have all managed to stay well and have had a good, albeit different, Christmas.

I write to let you know that after much discussion with the Senior Leaders of the school and representatives of the Governors, including reviewing all the national and local information; we have decided to delay the opening of school by 2 days. The school will then reopen to all our pupils on Wednesday 6th January.

The reasons for this are:

  • We are required to introduce the new rapid testing of staff as soon as possible, but have not had time to make any of the preparations necessary to achieve this.

NB The Government has also asked special schools to consider the introduction of testing of our secondary age pupils. We however believe that there are only a very few of our pupils who will tolerate regular testing – this involves taking nasal swabs. As a result we do not propose to introduce this at John Grant School, at this stage.

  • We are already hearing about some staff who will not be able to return to school on Monday, either because they have tested positive or because they have been in contact with someone who is positive. We want to ensure we have a clear idea of staffing levels before we return.
  • In the light of the new strain of the virus and increased levels in our local community, we will be reviewing our risk assessment to ensure that all are as a safe as possible when they return to school.

I know this will cause inconvenience and disappointment to some, but I hope you understand our reasoning and that we feel it is in the best interest of all.

As we are now all in Tier 4 of the Government’s Covid measures, all pupils and staff who are assessed as being Clinically Extremely Vulnerable should be staying at home. We know of a few pupils for whom this applies, but please phone the school to confirm that your child will be at home for this reason.

There may be other families who have concerns about their child returning to school in these new circumstances. During the first week of term we will authorise this absence, but please ensure you make contact with school firstly to let us know the reasoning for your decision to keep your child at home, and secondly to plan and discuss whether this will be a longer term absence.

I hope that this makes sense and that you understand that we have not taken this decision lightly. We are committed to getting all the pupils back in school at the earliest possible opportunity – as noted this should be Wednesday 6th January.

Can I wish you all a Happy New Year! I think we all hope that it will be a lot better than our experience of 2020.

Take care and stay safe

Pam

Pam Ashworth

Headteacher

31.12.20.