LETTER TO PARENTS re: 1st June Opening
Information from the Department of Education
Questions and Answers:
Q: Will School be open for all children in Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six?
A: Yes, but this will be staggered. So, not all children will be able to start on June 1st because:
- Nursery and Reception are the priority group, followed by Year One and Year Six
- We are only allowed to have groups of 15 in each classroom space for infection control and our risk assessment may mean that this figure is lower.
- We need to make sure that our systems and processes, timetabling and routines are safe and that risk assessment is accurate and precise.
If there is too much demand for places, the school is advised to seek support from the local authority and some children would have to be provided with an alternative place, at a different school (not ideal and hopefully highly unlikely).
Q: Is it safe for my child to be in school?
A: Unfortunately, I cannot offer any guarantees – that is for the scientists. All I can do is assure you that the proper risk assessments will be in place and we will endeavor to apply all the control measures to limit infection spreading, as per government guidelines. The full guidelines are here, if you are interested https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020
Q: Will my child be with their friends?
A: As far as possible. However, because children are in smaller groups, once they are within this group, they will be unable to meet with other friends, within other classrooms or groupings. This is to keep to infection control guidelines.
Q: My child has a brother or sister in Y2,3,4 or 5. Can they come to school, from June 1st?
A: I am really sorry but this is not possible, or within the guidelines.
Q: Will the children be learning in school, as normal?
A: Learning will not be ‘as normal’ and the requirements to teach a broad and balanced curriculum are disapplied. Of course, children will continue with the home / school learning, guided by the teacher, within school, but the primary focus will be on friendship (social and emotional development) and readjusting to school routine.
Q: How will you keep my child safe?
A: Through proper risk assessment, as far as possible we will:
- Ensure that children and adults avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms of COVID19
- Ensure frequent hand washing cleaning and good hygiene practices
- Clean the settings more regularly and throughout the day
- Minimise contact between other adults and children, once established in their group.
Children are NOT required to work at a two metre social distance because this is impossible for younger children, although the smaller classes will ensure that there is better spacing than usual.
Children and adults are NOT required to wear PPE, only in the case of a child needing first aid, toileting support or displaying COVID symptoms.
Q: Will I be fined if I decide NOT to return my child to school?
A: No, you will not be fined under any circumstance. This decision is for you to make, at an extraordinary and difficult time. The school will not be held to account for any non-attendance either.
Q: If I do not send my child to school, will I still get the Free School Meal vouchers I have been getting?
A: Yes, you will still be eligible for free school meal vouchers and these will be sent to you weekly, if you are eligible.
Q: Can my child wear a face mask?
A: Children will NOT be allowed to wear a face mask and this is in accordance with government guidelines. This is because children do not know how to wear them properly, adjust with their fingers and then potentially spread the infection.
Q: I am unwell and classed as clinically vulnerable. Should I send my child to school?
A: If someone in your child’s household is extremely clinically vulnerable, they should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to, and the child is able to understand and follow those instructions. As a school we will be unable to promise stringent social distancing in any circumstance.
Q: Do I have to decide now if I want my child to return to school or inform you that I am keeping them at home?
A: No, we will ask you to confirm before the school closes for half term. It is important to remember that all of these plans may not go ahead, if the R rate increases and the infection begins to climb again. You have time to think – I know it will be a difficult decision and you need time and, in many ways, more information as the situation develops and changes.