21.05.2020 Principal letter to staff
I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on our progress towards phased opening from June 1st
We have undertaken an extensive risk assessment process with Trust Central Team colleagues and external professionals. This has been rigorous and incredibly reassuring. I feel confident that when our children return in June that we will have a very clear regime in place that will minimise risk significantly.
I have valued greatly the support from the Trust who have from the outset insisted that the numbers of children in each ‘protective bubble’ will be based on maintaining social distancing regulations rather than the arbitrary DFE recommended number of 15 pupils in a classroom. This means we will generally be working with much smaller numbers of children.
It has also been agreed that we will not be rushing all the children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 back in to school. We will be adopting a phased approach based around limiting numbers, evaluating provision, refining our organisational model and extending, if appropriate, over time.
I feel confident that this provides us with the opportunity to extend our offer for some of those year groups identified by the government as priority starters in June, as well as maintaining our provision for key worker children and a manageable home learning offer.
Clearly there is much work still to be done and we are working flat out to get all our plans in place. I have attached our possible return to school plans which will be discussed at staff meetings: teachers at 3.30pm today via TEAMS and 1pm on Friday via ZOOM for support staff. Please look carefully at this plan and bring any questions with you to the meeting. I anticipate being able to share these with parents on Wednesday. Therefore this information is strictly confidential at this point.
In order to provide clarity about the members of staff we expect to be returning to work as normal in June I have provided below the Trust guidance to support your understanding.
For those employees who are classed as ‘Extremely Clinically Vulnerable’, or who live with someone who is classed as ‘Extremely Clinically Vulnerable,’ and have received a letter from the NHS advising them to shield, we are not expecting you to return to the school building on 1st June. However, we will be expecting you (where possible) to carry out work from home to support our teachers and children.
For those employees who are classed as clinically vulnerable (including pregnant women) and have an underlying health condition which means they are eligible for a flu jab on medical grounds, where you can do your job from home we would advise you to liaise with the Principal so they can support you with doing so. Where it is not possible for you to do your job from home, we will offer you the safest on-site space to work from where social distancing can be followed.
For all other staff we are planning for you to be in school on Monday 1st June and to work your contracted hours. We will use Monday 1st June as a training day to ensure you are clear about routines and strict regimes that will be in place to ensure both you and the children are kept as safe as possible whilst in the building. This will also give us time to prepare the classrooms. We will, of course, have some key worker children in school that day, and throughout the term.
On Monday 1st June, I will be giving a presentation for all teachers and support staff at 9:15am which will outline the different safety procedures we will be putting in place. In line with social distancing measures, we would like to use the hall for this meeting. To avoid mass congregation in the staff room, we will be asking that a maximum of three people at one time to prepare hot drinks.
On Tuesday 2nd June, we will bring in Early Years children only, followed by Year 1 on the Wednesday. This measured approach will enable us to gradually introduce our safety protocols, one year group at a time. Year 6 will have a blended learning approach. This means that the class will be split in half and will have one week in school and one week at home. By taking this approach we will be able to support growing numbers of children in other areas of the school, following social distancing measures.
With regards to staff school dinners, Paula will be in touch with you all shortly with menu choices for our return.
Thank you so much for all your hard work so far. I look forward to discussing this further at the staff meetings and seeing you on Monday 1st June for our training day.