You should by now have had notification on the school app and received an email with the following information:
Dear Parent / Carer
Important information regarding student attendance – from Monday 23 March 2020
Firstly, thank you for the very supportive approach that you have taken during these exceptionally challenging times. We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. That is why the government has given clear guidance on self-isolation, household isolation and social distancing. The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can now stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
It is important to underline that schools and colleges remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in our society.
Whilst we are formally closed from Monday 23 March onwards, we will continue to support your child, both academically and pastorally and our school remains at the heart of our community. We value their education and we will be emailing work packs and many resources for your child/children to access at home. They will also be taking home today an exercise book and reading book.
Special opening from Monday 23 March for the children of key workers and those entitled to specialist support
At midnight, the government published a list of those parent / carers who are entitled to send their child to school. The link below provides specific details.
The list includes the following; Health and Social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and security, transport, utilities, communication and financial services.
We are grateful to all of these key workers who are looking after us all and keeping our essential services going. In return, our superb staff team are also going to ‘step up to the plate’ and provide provision for your child / children. It is critical to note, however, that this provision should only be taken up if there are no other alternatives (see guidance).
The government has asked parents/carers to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for children who absolutely need to attend:
Should you need to take up this provision, please reply to the email with details of how you meet the critical criteria as soon as possible (no later than 2pm) If you have already contacted us, the guidance has now changed so we will make contact with you shorty.
Specialist Support Provision
Those children with safeguarding and welfare needs, including those children on child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with Education Health and Care plans are also able to attend school. However the same rules apply, if you can keep your child/children cared for at home then please do so.
The Secretary of State has made it clear that this is an entirely different role for schools and school staff. It is primarily about care, not education. Staff are having to distance themselves from their own families because they are following these guidelines in order to provide this service. Please do all you can to protect our school community.
As always we will keep St Mary’s community in our prayers and we pray that we will have us all back together soon.