Return to school 2022 and COVID update

Dear parent / carer


Firstly, can I begin the new year by wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022.  I hope that you have all managed to have a relaxing and restful Christmas break.


This is the very last letter I wanted to find myself writing at the start of 2022, but sadly, we find ourselves once again in a very challenging COVID situation. This means that there are some difficult situations ahead for us all, as we each balance our family lives, working lives and the education of our children. 


Current COVID situation nationally

As you will no doubt know, COVID rates are currently at their highest ever nationally, since the pandemic began.  Whilst there is positive news that many of us are vaccinated and therefore illness appears to be resulting in less hospitalisations, it is resulting in significant transition.  Sadly however, vaccinations are NOT stopping people catching COVID for the first or even multiple number of times.


What this means for schools

Over the coming weeks ahead schools (as well as other places of work), are going to be struggling with significant staffing absence.  

  • It is almost impossible to get any supply staff.  
  • Schools have been told to update their contingency plans accordingly.
  • It is highly likely that there will be times when children in some or all year groups will not be able to be in school.


COVID response at King Edward Primary School

We will make sure that we keep up to date with all of the latest guidance.  But please remember that all schools are different and the situations and solutions each school finds itself in will continue to be unique.

We will continue to do the very best we can through this new and probably hardest challenge ahead.  But we cannot work miracles.  


The stark reality we find ourselves in nationally, is that if school staff are absent, then not all children may be able to be in school at all times over the coming weeks.  


This is going to be a national challenge. 


It is certainly not a situation we want to be in and nor is it our fault.


Our current situation

As we approach our children being due to return to school on Monday, we have an increasing number of staff who are now testing positive as the week goes on.  I have to let you know that this may mean that not all children will be able to be in school on Monday.  This is the very last situation any of us want to be in.  But it is the reality we are facing.  It is likely to be the daily reality ahead for all schools over the coming weeks.

Therefore please can all families make sure that they have a plan in place for if and when their child’s class is not able to provide face to face learning over the coming weeks, due to possible high levels of staffing absence.  


Next week and beyond

I will update you on Friday as far as I can for all classes for Monday.  But as staff can test positive any morning or any night, this is likely to be an ongoing situation over the coming days, the weekend and over the coming weeks, if schools are to remain open, until this peak passes.


Contingency planning 

We will be working over the coming days updating the following:

-contingency planning 

-updating guidance about testing and isolation periods as changes are announced 

-remote learning provision

-critical worker lists


Please know that we will do all that we can within the challenging and ever-changing circumstances we are in.  


But please be kind to us all.  


We will do the best we can, but we sadly recognise that our best will not be easy for any of us.  The likely high levels of staffing absence in schools is unprecedented.


Stay safe and enjoy the last few days of the holiday if you can.


Best wishes.

Miss Byrne

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