Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson announced late on Wednesday that all schools would be closing from the end of the day on Friday 20th March until further notice.
Our school building will then reopen on Monday 23rd March for those children whose parents are Critical COVID -19 Workers and those children who are socially vulnerable. All pupils who have been practicing Social Distancing for the Vulnerable and who have not been in school since Wednesday must remain at home.
Since the announcement I have been working with my senior team on attempting to understand what this means for our setting. At just before 1.30am this morning we received clarification from the government as to who are Critical Covid-19 Workers. Alongside this we have been mindful of the following principle from the government.
Principle 1: If it is at all possible for your children to be at home, then they should be…. and every child who can safely be cared for at home should be.
This is to ensure the children’s safety and that of others. The less our children travel and the less they come into contact with others, the safer they will be.
Today we made a series of phone calls home to ascertain if your family would be eligible for our provision from Monday. I would like to thank you for your honesty, understanding and commitment to supporting the national response to this pandemic. By relieving the pressure on school and freeing up valuable limited space you have supported Critical Covid-19 Workers in doing their job.
I must stress that in opening the building for these children we will not be following a curriculum, timetable or usual school day. Our purpose is to provide care for the front line workers. In this respect the children will have suitable activities across the day and will be provided with a meal if they are eligible for free school meals or pay for meals. A hot meal will be provided if we are able to open the kitchen. If this is not possible a packed lunch will be provided.
Access to appropriate educational activities at a time of National Crisis is problematic however we have been hard at work all week collating ideas and resources. Our new Home Page will guide you to the resources.
I am pleased to share that from Monday 23rd March we will be providing activities on our website. These will be updated twice a week for each class group. All parents and pupils can access these and I hope you find them useful, educational and informative. We will also have a section to support your own Emotional Health and Wellbeing at this difficult time. For further information please see the additional post with this letter.
Tonight we have delivered and sent home essential Sensory Regulation Packs to identified pupils. We hope these support you over the coming weeks.
All schools will now close and will only provide support for Critical Covid-19 Workers and those whose needs cannot be met at home.
The Government and Lancashire County Council both stress that the safest place for all of your children is at home with you.
I thank you for your understanding at this difficult time and trust that you are all following the strictest of hygiene routines and practicing social distancing at all times.
On behalf of all the staff and governors I wish you a safe weekend