Nursery, School and College closure:
This evening, the government have announced that all nurseries, schools and colleges will close from Friday 20th March until further notice. However, provision needs to be made for 'key workers' and for children and young people whom have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The government is also indicating that residential settings are to remain open. We need to clarify several points with the Department of Education before the end of the week, especially:
- the definitive list of 'key workers' - today they mentioned NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers
- all of our children and young people in school and college have an EHCP which effectively means that we will remain open but we have been directed to close
- are the children's home and college residence expected to remain open
- support for contingency plans for low levels of staffing in all of our settings as effectively we will have to remain open
Once we have clarification, we will notify all pupils, students, parents/carers and Local Authorities of our plans. We will also be seeking advice from the National Association of Special Schools and Colleges on the points above. We will have to consider which children and young people are at greatest risk of remaining at school or college and which are the ones who are at risk from going home. We will also need to think about how we can maintain safe staffing levels across all of our services.
Our staff teams have prepared extensive, detailed and personalised learning materials and resources for our children and young people which are ready if needed.
We have implemented an internal isolation protocol for any child or young person that presents with the Covid 19 symptoms. You can be assured that we will care for the children and young people until they can be picked up. We have reviewed the government guidance on social distancing with regards to the staff and carried out a risk assessment of those people that fall into a category of concern due to existing medical conditions. We will be monitoring those staff and taking precautions to ensure they are healthy, safe and well. If they present with any symptoms then they will have to go home to self isolate. It will be quite a challenge to implement the government guidelines on social distancing in our services but we will think of ways to manage the situation over the coming months. Hygiene and infection control will be a crucial part of our daily practice.
There will be no GCSE exams in the summer term this year and we will be waiting to find out what the government plans to do about them. We will inform pupils, students and parents/carers once we find out.
Little Learners Nursery:
Our award winning nursery is a service we are very proud of at the Trust and we want to ensure that we maintain the provision for our parents and secure jobs for all of our staff through a challenging financial period. We recognise that working parents need the service now and in the future and whilst we will come under severe financial pressure we are committed to ensuring the same level of service is there in the future. Once we get on the other side of the peak of the virus we want to make sure that parents can rely on us for high quality childcare and that we have sufficient staffing to meet needs. Please do call the office if you have any questions or concerns.
Once again, I have to thank our brilliant staff for going above and beyond for our children, young people and our Trust.