Dear Parents and Carers
Important information regarding student attendance from tomorrow - Monday 23rd March 2020.
Firstly, thank you for the very supportive approach that you have taken during these exceptionally challenging times. We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus; that is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing. The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear:
IF CHILDREN CAN NOW STAY SAFELY AT HOME, THEY SHOULD. THIS IS TO LIMIT THE CHANCE OF THE VIRUS SPREADING.
Whilst we are closed for the majority of pupils from Monday 23 March, we will continue to support your child and our school remains at the heart of our community.
Special opening from Monday 23 March 2020, for the children of key workers and those entitled to specialist support, will be from 8.50am to 3.10pm, and 8.50 am to 12 pm for Nursery children, which mirrors the school day. Children arriving at school displaying signs of COVID-19, or who are generally unwell, will not be able to access the provision as this poses a risk to other children and staff. If any symptoms develop during the school day, we will be contacting parents/carers to come and collect their child.
Please be mindful that if your child has Asthma, they are considered to be in a high risk category and they should not be in school, despite provisions being available. As we are running school on a skeleton staff, it is not feasible that we can cater for high risk medical needs.
The government published a list of those parent/carers who are entitled to send their child to school. The link below provides specific details.
The list includes the following; Health and Social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and security, transport, utilities, communication and financial services.
We are grateful to all of these key workers who are looking after us all and keeping our essential services going. In return, our superb team of staff are also going to ‘step up to the plate’ and provide provision for your child / children. It is critical to note, however, that this provision should only be taken up if there are no other alternatives. The government has asked parents/carers to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for children who absolutely need to attend
There is a lot of confusion about this. It is NOT compulsory for key worker’s children or children with EHCPs to attend next week. It is not an option for children to dip in and out. It is an EMERGENCY childcare provision for children who cannot be left home safely and where there is no alternative adequate care. The whole point of the school closure is to reduce the spread of the virus, therefore schools are open for the minimum number of absolutely essential students, so we can deploy the minimum number of staff and therefore expose the minimum number of children, staff and their families to this extreme risk. These are exceptional circumstances that need drastic action. Unless we work collectively to slow the spread - then it is likely that NHS will be overwhelmed.
Before taking up a place on Monday, please reconsider whether your work is critical to the Covid-19 Response and it is absolutely necessary, as we have received a lot more requests than anticipated (86 children are booked for Monday). The school is open for those who are vulnerable and unsafe and those of key workers who have been left with no other choice.
Please reflect on your requests to ensure that all alternatives have been exhausted before asking for a place at school . If families are at all able to make alternative arrangements, please let us know as a matter of urgency.
Free School Meals
For the children staying at home that are entitled to Free School Meals you may collect a packed lunch daily for them, please call the school office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 9.30am on Monday morning to let us know it is required. Lunches can be collected between 12 pm -1pm from the main office.
If your child is attending school on Monday, they need to wear school uniform and bring their PE kit as we will be taking part in physical activities. Please come to the hall entrance with your child. It is important that parents/carers DO NOT enter school so we can continue to keep school as safe as possible. If your child is entitled to a Free School Meal they will be provided with lunch. If they are not entitled to a free school meal, then they will need to bring a packed lunch to school. All children will also need to bring a snack for morning break and a drink.
Holden Clough will be closed to the majority of students but we are in no way closed in terms of our ongoing care, support and kindness. Please take care of one another and look after those in your community that may need your support.
We will see you all soon