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Letter regarding school closure and arrangements for next week for children of key workers/ vulnerable children

Further to my letter sent out yesterday (19.3.20), I am writing to inform you of the latest update. The government has made it clear that it wants children to stay at home, wherever possible and has issued the following key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

 

As you know, Fair Oak Junior School will only be open to children who are classified as Vulnerable or who are the children of Key Workers. There has been a lot of misinformation given to parents via various means, but, as I have always said, I will only give you facts. Therefore, I am now able to confirm the following classifications:

 

Vulnerable Children

 

Please complete the questionnaire:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DKMNM8Y

Key Worker categories

Only 1 parent needs to qualify as a Key Worker

Please complete the questionnaire:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DKMNM8Y

  • Children who have a social worker*
  • Children with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • The school will also contact parents/guardians of those who we feel are vulnerable for other reasons. Whilst this could be an awkward conversation, I’m afraid it must be had

 

*This includes

Children In Need (CIN)

Children who have a Child Protection Plan (CP)

Children who are Looked After by the Local Authority (LAC)

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

 

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

 

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

 

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

 

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

 

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

 

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

 

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

 

If the above categories do not apply to you or your child, do not send them to school from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice. Firstly, I am so sorry. This seems like an incredibly unfair situation for you and your families, and I fully understand the impact of this decision, however, social distancing is an important part of our national effort against the spread of COVID 19. Please click here to see the Stay at home guidance from the government. If your child will not be returning from Monday 23rd March…fear not! We have plans:

  • Your child will be sent home with a learning pack today
  • Online resources are already available on the year pages of the school website (home learning links). The website learning will be updated regularly
  • Mrs Cooper will be sharing a possible ‘home’ timetable in the newsletter today
  • Staff are already planning some exciting learning opportunities to be completed at home – with the teachers…teaching (remotely) - watch this space!

 

Please do remember to collect your child’s PE kit, water bottles, books bags etc. at the end of school today.

 

FSM – children in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant

As you can see, children in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant are not on the list above. The school will continue to offer lunches to children who are not in school. How will this be done?

  1. The menu choice will be on the website the day before. For example, Monday’s menu will be put onto the website by the end of school on Friday. To access this go to the parents tab and then to the lunch menu tab
  2. If you require a lunch, please phone or email the school by 9.30am. Example – If you want food on a Tuesday, you will need to go to the website from the day before (Monday) and then place your order with the school via phone or email before 9.30 on the Tuesday.
  3. You will need to collect your child’s lunch from the school between 11 and 11.30am – please note that these lunches will be picnic bags.
  4. We may be in a position to set up weekly online surveys for you to place your orders for a week in advance, although the food in the bag will change and will be on the website, as detailed above.

 

We are still waiting for guidance from the government regarding supermarket vouchers if the school kitchen closes.

 

The following points are required for those who are eligible to send their child into school from Monday:

  • Wherever possible, keep your child at home.
  • Please complete the questionnaire, so that we have an idea of the numbers of children in school. Please complete this questionnaire by 4pm today (20.3.2020)
  • If I do not feel (in my opinion) that your role qualifies as key worker, I will turn you away from the gate and your child will not be able to attend school. Please do not make this situation any harder than it already is.
  • If you are a key worker, please do make every effort to avoid sending your child to school. However, we realise that flexibility will be needed to support you, should your child have to be sent to school. Therefore, you will be able to choose which days your child comes into school. As yet, I’m looking for ways to manage this electronically, but for the time being, contact the school office.
  • The school site will be locked until 9am
  • There will be no breakfast club on Monday 23rd March – Breakfast club will resume on Tuesday 24th March. Please note that no breakfast will be served at breakfast club until further notice. Normal charges apply
  • Snacks will not be sold at playtime
  • All children are to be accompanied by a parent on Monday 23rd March. If you are a key worker, please bring evidence of your current employment with you, so that we can let your child onto the premises. The only point of entry onto the school site will be the pedestrian green gate. Whilst the gate to the infant school may be open, parents and children will be funnelled to the correct location. Please bear with us, as it will take time to check all the evidence. This may have an impact on the time you are able to start work in the morning
  • Children classified as Vulnerable will not need to be accompanied by an adult, but they will not be allowed onto site until 9am
  • Once children are on the site, they will be sent for registration to a member of staff.
  • All children are to wear school uniform at all times. Please do send them in with their PE kit daily. This is so that we can provide as much normality as possible, and so that our children are easily identifiable, should we need to educate children from other settings (if their ‘home’ schools are closed) and to differentiate from those who shouldn’t be on site.
  • The lesson timetable for the week will look different and may change depending on the numbers of children in school any one day. Your child may be with his/her teacher, but may not.
  • Lunch will continue to be served by HC3S. It’s important to note that menu choices may fluctuate regularly, but all children will be fed and all specific dietary requirements will be met. The menu will be available online through the parents tab
  • The school day will end at the same time (3.30pm) and you will need to continue with your usual collection procedures.
  • ICON Sports Coaching clubs have been cancelled until further notice
  • After School Club will continue until 6pm – but this may be reviewed. If you need to register your child for after school club, please contact the school office.

 

 

People keep referring to this time as unprecedented and as uncertain. Whilst this is the case, we must all ensure that we look after ourselves as adults, so that we can look after our amazing children. As a school, we will try to innovate to make this challenging time…into an opportunity. I, like the rest of you, don’t know how long this will go on for, but what I do know is that I have huge faith in every member of the Fair Oak Family.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Andrew De Silva

Head Teacher

  • Fair Oak Junior School
  • Botley Road, Fair Oak, Eastleigh
  • Hampshire, SO50 7AN
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