The Education Secretary announced yesterday that, due to the high rates of Covid transmission, the Department for Education has asked primary schools in our Local Authority to remain closed to most pupils until at least the 18th of January when the situation will be reviewed.
I understand that this announcement will be deeply concerning to many in our community. I apologise for the inconvenience that this enforced school closure brings and for the disruption to your child’s education. However, given the rates of infection locally, our first priority must be the safety of all in our community.
From 5th January 2021, we will therefore move to online provision. This will be available via Google Classroom. Class teachers will post daily tasks for the children to complete as well as some supporting material. Staff will be available to address any difficulties that the children encounter with their work. Parents or pupils can reach them via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through Google Classroom. As before, teachers will mark submitted work and provide feedback. It is very important that your child completes these online activities and submits them to their teacher on a daily basis so that they do not fall behind with their school work. Google Classroom also has the added advantage of allowing children a safe way to keep in touch with their teacher and their classmates which supports their mental health.
If your child does not have access to a device or the Internet to complete their homework, please let us know as soon as possible as we can assist you with this. If you returned a laptop to us before Christmas, these will be available for collection from the 5th of January, please contact the office to arrange collection. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide paper copies of any work set.The Department for Education has asked all schools to continue to provide educational provision for vulnerable children. These families will be contacted by a member of staff in the next few days. Schools have also been asked to provide provision for children of critical workers. The Department for Education defines critical workers as those in the following sectors: Health and social care
This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
- support and teaching staff
- social workers
- specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response to deliver this approach
Key public services
- those essential to the running of the justice system
- religious staff
- charities and workers delivering key frontline services
- those responsible for the management of the deceased
- journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting
Local and national government
This only includes:
- those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
- or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food:
- sale and delivery
- as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)
Public safety and national security
- police and support staff
- Ministry of Defence civilians
- contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak)
- fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
- National Crime Agency staff
- those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
- staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
- the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
- information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
- key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
- postal services and delivery
- payments providers
- waste disposal sectors
If as a parent/carer your job falls within the category of a critical worker above, and you would like your child to attend school from the 5th of January, please click on the link below. In the interests of everyone’s safety, we ask that this service is only used if you have no other means of childcare.
Please send all requests before 11am Sunday. We cannot guarantee places in school if we receive replies after this time.
We will keep you informed about any further developments via ParentMail as well as our school app so please check your emails regularly for updates.
We hope that these increased measures will lead to a decrease in the infection rate to enable all children to return to school as quickly as possible. Until then, take care and keep safe.
Mrs M Shipton