Dear Parents and Carers,
All schools will close for the foreseeable future for the vast majority of pupils at the end of the school day. (Friday 20th March).
Please see further information on the Devon Schools Covid 19 website page: https://www.devon.gov.uk/document/schools-and-families/
Please see information from the Department for Education relating to closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers.
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 stay safely at home, they must, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the Government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open to provide childcare only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to highlight that 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 wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide childcare for a limited number of children; children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Please note that the schools will be open for childcare purposes only and will not be in a position to offer the national curriculum that would normally be taught in school.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home, then your children will be prioritised for childcare provision:
Health and social care
If parents think they fall within the critical categories listed above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Please note: It is not compulsory for ‘Key Worker’ children to access this service. We need to ensure that we keep school staff safe as well as the children attending, therefore social distancing and maintaining low numbers in school will remain a priority for the ongoing safety of all.
If you believe you fit into one of the above categories and will require this provision, please complete and submit the key worker survey on the homepage of our website (below). Please ensure that you have completed this form by (12 noon on Saturday 21st March) to enable us to plan our staffing models for next week.
We appreciate that ‘Key Worker’ parents may have differing requirements of the service day by day or week to week and we will aim to accommodate this, wherever possible, however please be aware that due to staffing pressures in our schools currently, we will not be able to offer any wrap around care facilities of after school clubs that would normally be on offer. The service will be open from 9:00-3:30.
Our vulnerable pupils are already known to the schools and school staff will be in contact to discuss future school attendance. This group of pupils includes anyone who has:
Children accessing this service will need to be registered on a daily basis in line with our usual safeguarding routines and we will be asking parents to let us know if their child is absent for any reason. This will allow us to plan and maintain staffing levels and ensure safeguarding requirements are met. We will confirm our booking arrangements in further communications to you, once we have established the numbers or families that this service is essential for.
If your child’s school is closed due to staff illness, then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.
Provision of food for children entitled to free school meals (FSM)
Free School Meals
We have issued vouchers to families and will continue to monitor and take action as necessary.
Continuation of learning
For families whose children will be at home, we have sent activities to support families and will continue to monitor and take action as necessary. We have created a home learning page with links to resources.
Thank you for your continued support and patience throughout this difficult time.