Today, we’ve been finalising plans for next week and beyond. In separate a communication, I’ll let you know what you can expect from the home learning tasks that teachers will set. We’ll break from policy and allow teachers to respond to parents who might have questions about the learning, too – we know this will be important for many of you.
The government has produced some guidance with frequently asked questions about the school closures – you might find this helpful.
If you’ve told us your child is coming in to school next week:
- you can assume we’re expecting your child to arrive – we won’t send a confirmation
- you must come or tell us if not – this will save wasting time contacting families to check on the whereabouts of your child when we have limited staff
I’ve communicated in an earlier post the guidance around maintaining some sort of educational provision. Whilst we’ve been heartened by all your words of encouragement and praise, we’ve also – sadly – had to respond to parents who have complained to us about the restrictions the government is setting. The government is clear:
- ‘if it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be’
- ‘parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus’
…And we’ve had parents trying to work around the system in some way. Please be aware we’ll be asking for evidence that your work is regarded as essential in these difficult times – this could even involve contacting a line manager from your place of work and carrying out other checks. I’m sorry that seems untrusting, but most of you will understand we need to protect the limited number of spaces we can safely offer (and it also helps to restrict unnecessary movement:
- ‘the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society’
The last couple of days, after the announcement that schools would close, have been hectic and stressful. We’re grateful for your patience and your words of encouragement, and your kind messages which have reassured and revitalised us when we’ve needed it.
(On a personal note, I’d like to say again how grateful I am to the my wonderful Heads of School across Sphere Federation who have worked so hard, the terrific teachers and teaching assistants, the amazing admin team, and the other super support staff such as the site supervisors and cleaners. Many of these people have dealt with the situation at school while facing their own personal problems, too.)