Following conversations today with a few parents I would like to confirm that the last day of term will remain as Friday 18th December 2020; school will be open every day next week as normal and all children are expected to be in school.
We will of course continue to provide remote home learning with daily Zoom meetings for the year 6 children who have had to self-isolate until the end of term.
To date we have had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the staff and two children since March 2020. We are grateful for your support and understanding at this time - it's been a tricky term for everyone. Most importantly the children are settled back to school and we have enjoyed helping them to be the best learners that they can be.
As all teachers are teaching in school we cannot provide 'virtual' home learning or Zoom meetings for individual children who are self-isolating.
We are aware that some Secondary Academies have made the decision to change to remote learning for all pupils next week. Please find below a paragraph from the letter received yesterday from Steve Crocker, Director of Services, regarding school closure ahead of the end of term.
Letter received from Steve Crocker, 8th December 2020:
It has been brought to my attention that some schools are considering asking parents to keep their children at home for the last week of term and to access learning remotely.
I would like to remind all schools that doing so would go against the clear guidance that the Department for Education has issued.
The relevant paragraph in that guidance states: “You should continue to attend your school or college until the last day of normal term time. Schools and colleges should not change their Christmas holidays or close early this term. Parents should continue to send their children to school during term time and students should continue to attend college right up until the end of term – our senior clinicians continue to advise that the best place for children and young people is in education. The time-limited change to social restrictions over Christmas does not require any children to be taken out of school prematurely.”
It has been made very clear to me by the local authority and the DfE that we should remain open. In fact, our responsibility now extends beyond the end of term! Please see below:
Contact tracing after 18th December 2020 - Christmas holiday contact with school:
We are required by PHE and DfE to continue to 'trace' positive cases within our school community for 6 days after the end of term to limit the spread of the virus in our community, until 24th December.
Jane Bowden and I will check the firstname.lastname@example.org email account each day from 9-10am and take appropriate action.
You will be pleased to hear that the DfE recognises that this responsibility has challenges at the end of term and I am grateful for Jane Bowden's support with this as I hope to be well ensconced in Christmas preparation by then.
I sincerely hope that there is no need for us to contact anyone. Therefore, if your child tests positive for COVID-19 please inform us at school by emailing email@example.com to inform us if your child tests positive within 48 hours of being in school - i.e. on 18th, 19th or 20th December.
Parents are not required to inform us if their child tests positive more than 48 hours since being in school although we will be monitoring the email until the end of the day on 24th.
Take care this weekend everybody - keep safe! We are nearly there.