IMPORTANT Lancashire update re: primary school re-opening 15/06/20
Date: 15th Jun 2020 @ 1:40pm
This statement was issued to Lancashire schools today by Edwina Grant OBE (Lancashire's Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services)
'Our Director of Public Health has revised his guidance about schools reopening to more pupils and we can now encourage schools to take the decision to open more widely to pupils from 22 June if, having undertaken your risk assessment, you consider yourself ready to do so.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi had issued blanket guidance to schools to delay wider opening to more pupils, because his professional view was that two of the government's five coronavirus tests were not being met in the county. However, a reduction in the rate of confirmed coronavirus infections combined with our readiness to support the local implementation of the national NHS Test and Trace Programme means that enough progress has now been made to revise this advice. It is important to stress that the prevalence of coronavirus is still higher in Lancashire than elsewhere in the country so the room for manoeuvre is limited.
As has been the case throughout the emergency, all schools are encouraged to admit vulnerable pupils and those children of key workers as long as their risk assessments suggest it is safe to do so.
The government guidance states that children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can now be welcomed back. For secondary schools and colleges, the government is keen for teachers to have some face-to-face contact with specified year groups.
The decision to welcome back more pupils to Lancashire's schools lies with head teachers, in consultation with your board of governors, taking into account your individual circumstances.
We appreciate that each school in Lancashire is different, and you will need to consider a number of factors in your risk assessment to make your setting Covid-secure. Critical to this is your ability to introduce measures to encourage social distancing for pupils. The advice also applies to early years settings such as nurseries and childminders. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your adviser or to email me directly.'
What next for our school?
- We currently have two key worker groups or bubbles involving 24 children. One group is a Key Stage 2 group of Year 3/Year 4/Year 5/Year 6 children that is already full for some days this week; the other group has children from Reception/Year 1/Year 2 that has a limited capacity left
- We assume that parents with children already in childcare at school will retain their places. Parents with children already in childcare do not need to complete any additional paperwork
- Currently three teachers, three teaching assistants and Miss. Massaro (trainee teacher) are available to work in school. Our other teaching staff and teaching assistants are unable to work in school for a variety of reasons such as shielding, maternity leave and illness
- This means that currently we can only staff three groups
- From next Monday 22nd June until the end of this term on Friday 17th July, we can provide for some additional key worker and vulnerable children who are not already in school
- This means we have an additional 12 childcare places available. Childcare places will be available to parents on a ‘first come first serve’ basis as we expect demand to be greater than we can meet
- Key worker and vulnerable children's parents who want to book a childcare space do need to complete and return the additional paperwork emailed today as soon as possible and definitely by 9.00a.m. on Wednesday 17th June
- We will feedback to parents to confirm whether their child has been allocated one of the additional childcare places on Wednesday 17th June
- In line with the government’s phased return guidelines, we are encouraging all parents using childcare at school to send their children to school full-time.
- The government’s guidance (updated on the 1st June) is clear that schools 'must first focus on continuing to provide places for priority groups (vulnerable children and the children of key workers)'
- We are unable to offer specific provision to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children as we do not have enough available members of staff
- Our wider return offer focuses only on key worker and vulnerable children because that is all we currently have capacity for
For those children continuing to learn at home,
- Teachers will continue to provide all children with home learning, promote interaction and give feedback to children through the Pupil Area on the website
- Teachers can be contacted using their email address at the top of the weekly home learning guide
- As soon as we are clear about the children who will continue learning at home, we will set up group zoom meetings
We will continue to keep parents up-to-date with future changes through the School Spider app and emails
Thank you for your on-going support
Update for 16/06/20
Today the government have just issued an updated document called
'Critical workers (key workers) who can access schools or educational settings'
This can be accessed using the link below.