Wednesday 18th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I apologise for the delay in sending this update as I have been in a Governors meeting and have then been trying to source the most up to date information, whilst liaising with local Head Teachers.
The government has announced tonight that for the vast majority of pupils, school will close on Friday for the foreseeable future. Tomorrow I will send details about how we aim to keep in contact with you and the children over the coming weeks and how we will support their continued education at home.
The only advice we have had from the Government this evening is:
It is clear that education and children’s social care settings are increasingly finding it difficult to continue as normal, as illness and self-isolation impacts on staffing levels and pupil attendance. To provide parents, student and staff with the certainty they need we are announcing that schools, colleges and early years settings will be closed to everyone except children of key workers and vulnerable children from Monday, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
Examples of these workers include NHS staff, police and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work. Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with Education, Health and Care Plans.
A full list of key worker categories will be published by the Cabinet Office tomorrow.
Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.
We will be waiting for additional support and advice from the Government and Leeds City Council tomorrow. As soon as I have any additional information, I will be in touch. This announcement this evening has left more questions than answers.
We will be contacting parents of children who are entitled to Free School Meals (not the Universal Free School Meals for Key Stage 1 and Reception) separately about meals.
I will also be trying to establish tomorrow which parents qualify as key workers, and if any would wish to access child care centrally. Please note, this will be child care and not education.
Tomorrow, I will also be talking to all children in their classes to explain what is happening, why and to take any questions that they might have.
Please can I remind you to email any pupil absence to firstname.lastname@example.org and not to use the phone lines unless it is urgent?
Once again, thank you for your support.