Re-opening of Deighton Gates Primary
Following my letter of 29th May, I wanted to update you on the Governors meeting that took place yesterday, and what it means for our school.
You’ll remember that the Headteacher and staff have spent the past weeks putting detailed plans in place and thinking about the complex arrangements needed to create a safe working environment for our children, staff and families. The ultimate decision to re-open was dependent upon the school’s leadership and the Governing Body being able to:
After nearly 3 hours of review and discussion, we concluded that we were now able to begin our phased re-opening of the school. I can also provide some further information about the period before the new school year begins in September 2020.
We have now agreed that:
Making Our Decision
Without appearing flippant, responding to a global pandemic is a unique and unprecedented challenge for our school’s teachers, leadership and governors. Many of us are parents as well, so we do fully appreciate the challenges that you are facing at home too.
I have to be entirely honest and clear with you that even the plans I’ve described here are uncertain. A change in the public health position, or the Government guidance, or an increase in illness within the staffing team could mean we need to change or withdraw a service at short notice. A review of the risks and mitigating controls will be reviewed formally on a weekly basis. I’m sorry that this will be disappointing and create inconvenience for many of you – not least the impact on your children – but it’s the reality of where we are today as a country.
It’s for exactly this reason too that I’d ask you not to make comparisons with what you’re hearing about other schools, and how the media is covering this. Yes, some local schools have opened a few days earlier than Deighton Gates. Others will not open until after we have. Some local authorities have blocked all of their schools from opening until a date later in June. It really is up to individual schools to decide what is right for them – thinking about their individual circumstances, the capacity of their staffing team, and the controls they can put in place.
Perhaps I can finish with some reassurance.
Throughout this whole period, every decision has been taken in the best interests of our children and staff, with a clear ambition to restore normality as soon as possible. Our Governing Body includes at least 3 staff members who’d rather be teaching children, and a good number of parents (and grandparents) who all want their children back at school. Your voice as parents is heard. We remain very keen and focused on welcoming every pupil back to Deighton Gates as soon as we possibly can.
Again, I’d like thank Mrs Harrison and her team for their work in getting us ready to reopen, and you for your patience and support as we feel our way through this. But mainly to your children. As a parent of two, I know that these 4 months will be a tiny blip in at least 12 years of education, that the resilience they’re showing will help them through school and beyond, and that … most importantly … they’ll soon be back with their friends.
I hope you and your family keeps safe and healthy.
Chair of Governors, Deighton Gates