As a group of senior leaders, we are writing today with regard to the Government update from yesterday. We are asking you all for your patience as all schools continue to try to get to grips with the ever-changing messages that we receive from the Government. The Government has made it clear in its guidance regarding key workers:
“Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
This is a childcare offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.
For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.”
The list is quite comprehensive but the overriding message is that if a child can stay safely at home- they should.
The government estimate that schools will be open for approximately 10% of their children – based on the fact that most families will respond to the national emergency and keep their children at home. This would give us a group of approximately 25 children. It is likely that we may have slightly more than this but, to maintain social distancing, we will be working to keep numbers low.
We have been advised to prioritise in order to keep numbers low. This is to provide safety, wellbeing and health of our staff, children and the community.
With this in mind, and as communicated yesterday, a school place may be available for children who either has both parents working within a key role or is the child of a single parent family where that parent is a key worker. Although guidance indicates a place may be available for two parent families and where one is a key worker, there will need to be a very specific reason as to why the second parent cannot have children at home and some of these requests may be declined.
Where we have more vulnerable children parents and carers have been contacted directly to discuss individual situations.
Who are considered to be key workers?
We have been advised to use the following list in order to prioritise essential key workers:
1.Pupils where either parent is a member of NHS frontline staff e.g. doctors and nurses
2.Pupils who have a social worker or are known to the school to be extremely vulnerable
3.Pupils where both parents are on the keyworker list
4.Pupils where one parent is on the key worker list
The government FAQs include the following statement:
“Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.”
We have made a registration form available on our eschools app, website and social media for parents to inform us if they are working in a key role. Please click or copy/paste the link to complete today before 3pm.
We will then contact each of those families later today to inform them whether their child should attend school next week or not. I realise that some parents will be incredibly anxious about childcare etc but, should we have to inform you that you do not meet the criteria, please understand that the member of staff is doing their best and is following government guidance.
We, like all of you, have never experienced anything similar to this in our many years as an education professionals. The decisions we are having to make go against almost all the principles and ethos that makes our school so special. However, our main priority as well as providing excellent provision for all your children, has always been to keep them safe. At this time we need your full support to do this.
Thank you for your cooperation. Please be assured that we are continually assessing the situation as it unfolds and changes and we will keep you updated accordingly.
Sarah Cairns Nicola Worthington
CEO Head Teacher
At Southfield, we want you to love your learning and be interested in what you do at school and beyond. We want you to learn to be creative and independent and to be resilient in everything you do – even if you fail!
In our school, we have very high expectations of you all. We all want you to be able to do and achieve your very, very best. We want everyone to be included, respected and safe.
We really value technology and we want you to grow up ready for a world full of technology – some of which hasn’t been invented yet – but we want you to know how to be ready!
Our world is very diverse and we want you to love being part of this world. You could live or work anywhere in the world and communicate with anyone!
We want you, your family, your friends and our communities to all work and learn together to become the best that we can all be.
Council’s Young Advisors to develop a resource package to help raise awareness and encourage children and young people to talk about mental health.