Dear Parents, Pupils and your families,
As you are aware, the situation around Covid - 19, perceived risks to pupils, staff and the wider community, is a complex and constantly changing one, and is making it very difficult for the school to plan, at this point, for the safe, gradual reopening of the school.
Only yesterday, the Local Authority issued their guidance, making clear that they did not feel that a June 1st deadline, or indeed any 'fixed date', was a safe or realistic prospect for many schools. They acknowledged that every school context is different, and that each school is best placed to open to a greater number of pupils only when they feel that they can safely do so.
With more announcements due today, from both the official SAGE, and the unofficial SAGE (how confusing!) around the scientific basis upon which to open schools more fully, and the Governments own planned announcement on the 28th May, I have today, consulted with Governors, who are in full agreement that we can not yet open to more pupils. As one Governor described it, 'It is like having to plan to build on ever shifting sand'. Much of the advice and guidance is contradictory, and we must do our utmost to ensure the safety of pupils, parents, staff and the wider community.
As such, we have decided, that the very earliest that we will consider opening for more pupils is June 15th, and again, that will be guided by the information available to us, staff capacity, and capacity, 'within the building', due to the advice to place children in 'bubbles' with a maximum number of 15 pupils per room. Clearly, as a small school, this will be very hard to achieve.
During the interim period I will be undertaking a thorough Risk Assessment, and feeding back to Governors for their continued advice and guidance, so that when we do begin the phased reopening, we know that we have covered everything in order to best keep everyone safe.
I appreciate that this may be very frustrating for some of you, and I know that there have been some very inflammatory reports in the newspapers and on social media, about schools not 'jumping' to reopen, but I can assure you, every single member of my staff team, myself included, wants to return to work, to work with the pupils that they have previously taught, and are similarly frustrated. However, the bottom line is that ANY loss of life, be that one child, or one adult within our school community, is one life too many, and so we MUST act to try and prevent this in so much as we are able.
Kind regards, keep safe!