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Parent information update 18.06.20 - school capacity plans for summer term

Please see the letter placed in the letter section of our website for information re. our capacity for the rest of the summer term.  This has also been emailed to parents today.  If, for any reason you are unable to access it the information is as follows:

 

Thursday, 18th June 2020

Dear parents / carers

Last month the government made an announcement stating that they wanted all pupils from primary schools to be able to return to school for the last month of the summer term, in line with their phased return plan beginning with specific year groups (Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6), keyworker and vulnerable children.  It quickly became apparent when planning the wider re-opening of schools that this would be highly unlikely to happen due to the adaptations schools had to make to ensure the safe provision for any children and staff who returned.  The government made a U-turn last week and announced that it would not be possible for schools to implement the original plans for all children to return safely this term and further guidance was issued which states:

We know that in some schools, there will be capacity to welcome more children back, in group sizes of no more than 15, before the summer holidays. This may be because take-up amongst eligible children is lower than expected, or because there is additional space still available within the school and available staff to teach and supervise. There is no expectation on primary schools to welcome back additional children where they do not have capacity to do so.’

Primary schools should only welcome back additional children where:

  • they can accommodate more children while still following the approaches set out in the protective measures guidance and their own risk assessment

Unfortunately, as we see increasing numbers of pupils return from the original stipulated year groups, we have no further capacity to invite any children from other year groups to return to our school this term. This is because we are adhering to the protective measures guidance as set out and included in our school specific risk assessment.  Due to the age of our building and therefore smaller room sizes than some other school buildings, we are unable to accommodate 15 children in each room given the social distancing rules (even if social distancing is reduced to 1m, our classrooms would not be able to accommodate 15 children at once).  At this point, we do not have either the physical space or staff capacity to ensure the safe return of further year groups and as I have stated previously, our decisions are all based on ensuring the safety for all children, families and staff.

We are currently working on plans for transition with a view to next year and are developing a new transition information area on our school website.  This should be live by the end of next week.  We are also working on plans for next year’s classes, though without further government guidance at this stage, we are unable to state exactly how the whole school return plan will look, so we are making plans should the guidance closer to the time direct the whole school to return in September.  These plans can then be amended if need be. As soon as I am able to, I will confirm which classes children will be returning to for their new academic year – this will be sent to parents via email.

I know that this is not the way in which I wanted to end the summer term for our children and families and the staff and I will continue to keep in touch with you and provide online support for work and mental health links, which are updated weekly on the children’s pages of our website.  If there are updated links, these are posted on the ‘latest news’ section of our school website. 

I am incredibly proud of our whole school community.  The staff and I all miss seeing and hearing all of the children in school and seeing the parents / carers / grandparents / childminders each day.  We look forward to having everyone back together when we are told it is safe to do so.  I would to offer my heartfelt thanks to all parents and carers for the support offered to our school in the past 3 months.

Yours sincerely

 

Miss Brockerton

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