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Covid-19 Update - 20 March 2020

posted Mar 20, 2020, 3:30 AM by Mrs Gurney   [ updated Mar 20, 2020, 3:30 AM ]

Dear Parents,

The list of key workers has now been released. Please go to:

Whilst you may see your occupation on the list and feel that you are therefore entitled to continue to send your child still attending school, this will not necessarily be the case. You must consider the guidance that says:

"If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision," the Department for Education said.

This means that

You work must be critical to the COVID-19 – for example though working in a café could be classed as food distribution it is not critical for the COVID-19 response

If there is any way at all that you do not need to send your child into school, then you must not. For example, if shift working would mean that there was no time that your children would be left alone or if your partner does not work then you do not send them to school. The guidance is very clear that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be’

The expectation from schools is also that you will only send your child to school for the absolutely minimal time – eg you would not send them to school on days that you were not working.

If you feel that you definitely fall into the categories and you have no alternative childcare, then please ring the school by 12:00pm. You will then ask you a series of questions.  You will then be contacted by 2:30pm to confirm whether or not you are eligible. For those that are, more details will be given about the timings and arrangements at school next week. You will only be allowed to attend school from Monday 23rd of March if you have received confirmation of this from the school- if you do not have this then you will be turned away. If your situation changes and you feel that you are now eligible you would need to email and someone will be in touch with you.  You still must not turn up at school without confirmation. This is so we can ensure we have the right staffing levels.

Although this may all sound harsh, we need to go back to the reason that schools shut in the first place that is to try to stop the spread of this virus. The whole point in shutting schools is to reduce social contact so if everyone just sends their children to school when they do not need to, this will not be achieved. The guidance is clear - If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. As a school, we are keen to help and play our part as so many others are, but we need to ensure that we are taking sensible steps throughout towards the ultimate aim of reducing the spread of the virus.  Can we also make it very clear that children will be using the school as a childcare facility – in no way at all will they receive an education as they normally would.

Thank you for your support and care in this matter at such a difficult time,

Kind regards,

Miss Huggins, Mrs Wells and all the staff and Governors of St Andrew’s Benn C of E Primary School