Friday 20th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Today marks a big day, historically and emotionally. For the first time since the Second World War, the Government has closed all schools. This is because scientific evidence shows that children are at greater risk of spreading or becoming infected by the virus if they are in school. The Government advice is to keep your children at home.
From next week, school is being asked to provide childcare for children of key workers who cannot source any childcare elsewhere. This information only came through in the middle of the night and we are working through the initial requests. This will take some considerable time.
At the moment we have about 60 requests for places. We are a further 2 staff down today and we will not be able to accommodate all of these requests, so we will have to prioritise. I would ask parents to urgently seek alternative childcare arrangements, to best guarantee the safety of their children and our staff.
The school will close today at 3.10/20pm. We will be closed to all children on Monday 23rd March 2020 whilst we put arrangements in place for the children who have absolutely no alternative. The childcare facility will open on Tuesday 24th March at 8.45am if we have sufficient staff to safely look after the children. I will be in school on Monday to contact those parents who still need a place directly and to arrange staffing etc. The vulnerable children who are identified by the DFE and school will be our first priority.
On Monday I will send full details of any provision that we can provide and how we will move to a hub system moving forward. This will be groups of pupils provided for in different schools, so that we can best share resources within our area of Leeds.
We have struggled to keep going to today without sending more children home. I would like to thank my amazing staff and those parents who have kept me going personally.
I would beseech you to reconsider your requests and only ask if it is absolutely necessary. If, even as key workers, your employer has offered for you to work at home so you can support your children, I would ask you to do so. We have a higher rate of staff absence and illness than many other schools in the area and I have no idea who will still be fit for work on Monday.
For all those that are leaving today, I will stay in touch through this time. Please contact me through the firstname.lastname@example.org address if it is urgent.
For the key workers, please let me know if you are unable to keep your children at home on the same email address and I will be in touch on Monday.
Claire Harrison Head Teacher
Simon Cavell Chair of Governors