IMPORTANT COVID UPDATES about returning to school

Dear parents and carers,


Having reviewed our contingency planning there are a number of very important updates to share with you all.  Please can I ask that you read the following information carefully.


Face coverings

From Monday all parents and carers need to wear face coverings in the school yard.  This is due to the current extremely high rates of COVID.  We all need to do what we can to keep as many staff as possible COVID free, as this will help to keep our school open. 


Children returning to school

I am currently planning for all children to return to school for face to face teaching next week.  This will be under constant review due to the likely possibility of significant staffing absence.  Our priority is to remain open to our children.  But if it is not safe or not possible to do so, then we may need to move to remote learning for some or all children at some point.  However, we very much hope not.


Staffing absence

Like the rest of the country, many of our staff either currently have COVID and are isolating or have had it over Christmas.  In addition, I am aware of a significant number of our staff team who are currently a close contact of a COVID case.  Therefore there is significant pressure on our capacity to provide face to face learning for all children at the start of this term.  However, I have managed to access some supply staff and we also have a little  bit of capacity for internal cover.  But if all staff who are currently a close contact were to develop COVID over the coming week, we may need to move some children to remote learning temporarily.  Whilst I hope we will be able to get past this peak, I feel it is important that you know the challenge ahead.  This will enable you to each have a plan in place, just incase.  But fingers crossed!


Impact of the wider staff team absence

Staffing absence is not just affecting teaching staff, but is also affecting the wider vital staff team.  We cannot run safely or effectively if there is significant absence within the wider staff team.  Whilst again, we hope to get through this very challenging time ahead, please can I ask you to be well aware that we may have limited office or support staff capacity.  This may prevent us responding to you as quickly as usual and it is very likely to make the day to day running of school extremely difficult over the coming weeks.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.


Reporting confirmed cases of COVID in children and parents

As we anticipate being both very short staffed in the main office and under significant pressures across school with overall staffing absence, we would appreciate your support and help.


If your child tests positive, please can you report this to us via the link we have sent you.  Please also click here to access the link you need.  This will save the main office significant time in a number of ways if COVID cases are high.  Thank you for your support.


If a family member tests positive, we would also still like to know.  We will send you a link to a different reporting form to let us know.  Again, this will save the main office significant time in a number of ways if COVID cases are high.  Thank you again for your support.


If your child is poorly in another way

Please contact the office in the usual way if you need to report your child being absent for other reasons.


Whilst we very much encurage the highest levels of attendance, as this COVID variant is presenting in a range of different ways, children MUST NOT come to school if they are unwell in any way.  The latest DfE guidance this week clearly states that this is the best way to protect face to face education for the school community.  Thank you for your understanding, as usally we would encouarge children to be in if they are ‘under the weather’ but could manage.  But for the time being, any child who is unwell in ANY WAY  MUST NOT come to school.


None of us wanted to be in this challenging position for our children.  However in many, many ways it is a much more positive position to be in than last January.  Whilost this variant is clearly much more transmissable causing short term significant staffing absence in schools, serious illness appears to be much less likely.


We would very much appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our very best to get through the coming weeks and the staffing absence challenges ahead.  Our priority is to remain open to all, or as many children as possible.


Happy new year and we are looking forward to seeing you all next week!

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