Letter from Mrs Kippax 4/1/21 re Government announcement
Monday 4th January 2021
A belated Happy New Year to you all. You may be aware tonight, the government made the decision to close all schools in England until after February half term. This will mean that home/remote learning will be provided for all children to do at home from Wednesday 6th January. For children who fall into the vulnerable or critical worker category, school will operate as a childcare facility as it did between March and June last year. However, as bubbles cannot mix, these children will receive the same remote learning work as children who are at home, supported by a Teaching Assistant, within their own bubble. Remote learning will be matched as closely as possible to what children would normally be doing in school.
Due to this announcement coming at 8pm with no prior warning to ourselves, it gives us no time at all to arrange who our vulnerable and critical worker children are and ensure that they have provision in time for tomorrow morning. The Governing body of the school have therefore made the decision, along with myself, to close school tomorrow to give all teachers time to prepare for how school will look for the foreseeable future. This could have been achieved over the holidays if there was even a hint then of the decision that has arrived so late today. I hope you understand that this is not our decision but a government one that we are bound to follow.
All staff will be in school tomorrow as usual and I am deeply sorry for the childcare issues that this will cause. If there was any other viable solution, both myself and the Governors would have taken it. The few hours remaining tonight gives us no time to arrange which children fall into the critical worker or vulnerable category, or for us to organise what the school day is going to look like and how we are going to timetable it whilst keeping everybody safe.
I asked all parents to complete a form regarding their occupation back in September so I am basing the Critical Worker information on that. You will receive an email tomorrow if you fall under the Critical Worker category enquiring if you wish to make use of the childcare facility in school at this time. Please only use this facility if there is no other viable option for you. The purpose of the new lockdown is to reduce the number of children in school, reduce the spread of the virus and keep us all safe. If you have other options at home, please use them.
If you are a critical-worker and you receive the email, please respond by 12 noon to state whether you will be taking up the childcare facility in school. I must again point out, this will be in school, in their class bubbles and they will access the same remote learning on school devices that children at home will access, under the supervision of a teaching assistant. There is no extra teaching taking place in school to ensure it is fair to all. Teachers will be setting the work, responding to queries, following up on any questions and making themselves available to support children remotely.
If your children fall under the ‘vulnerable’ category or have an EHCP, I will be in touch with you at some point tomorrow to discuss available options.
Again, I am so sorry for this unavoidably late letter containing news that is affecting all schools in England. I hope that childcare arrangements can be made at such ridiculously short notice for tomorrow and I will send a further letter outlining remote learning tomorrow.
Thank you for your understanding.
Mrs C Kippax