To all our parents and carers

I write to keep you updated on a situation is changing and uncertain with regard school opening after the Christmas break.

As you may have seen on the news, most of the Unions that represent school staff are of the view that schools are not safe enough places for people to return to now that we have the new strain of Coronavirus. Although I am not absolutely sure yet how many staff this will affect, I do know that a considerable number will not feel it is safe enough to return to work if the school is fully open to all pupils.

I have also been hearing from a number of our parents and carers that they too are concerned about sending their children back into school. In some updated information from the Government, it has now been accepted that if parents choose to keep their children home from a special school at this time, it will be counted as an authorised absence.

As a result:

  • We will as planned be meeting with Senior Staff tomorrow to review our risk assessment for safe school operation
  • We will, as planned, be taking part in training in order to try to introduce the regular testing of school staff.

I think it is unlikely that we will be able to open for all pupils on Wednesday, but I also think it is unlikely that all parents would like their children to return. We will then be looking at opening for the pupils that really need to be in school for probably the next 2 weeks. In trying to assess need to be in school we will be considering:

  • Whether the pupil’s parents/carers are key workers and would have to cease their work, if their children were not in school
  • Whether being at home for longer may cause distress for the pupils which may result in difficult or dangerous behaviour which could put people at risk
  • Whether a pupils’ home circumstances are such that being at home could cause significant other difficulties.

If we have many fewer pupils on site, we will be able to keep everyone working in much smaller “bubbles”, so mixing with many less people.

We can never reduce the risk of cross-infection completely, but clearly having less people on site will lessen the risk.

I will be asking the teachers to make contact with each family on Monday afternoon after we have looked again at plans, so they will be able to give you an update. In the meantime it would be helpful for us to know whether you do not wish you child to attend anyway over the next 2 weeks or whether you feel there is good reason for your child to be in school. The best way to tell us this would be for you to email the school office on: Office@johngrant.norfolk.sch.uk either tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.

Thank you in anticipation for your help in trying to plan a safe way forward for all.

Please contact us if you have any concerns.

Pam

Pam Ashworth

Headteacher