Letter from the Headteacher-Eligibility for continuation of school
I am writing to share with you the arrangements for children eligible to continue with supervised study at Blaise High School. Please note that, if children are able to stay at home safely, they should. 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.
The government has announced the key workers list this morning. This can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
It is important to stress that, if children can safely stay at home they should do. You should only send them in to school, regardless of whether your occupation is on the list, if it is not safe for them to work from home. The guidelines are clear that the closure of schools is in place to limit the spread of the virus. With fewer children travelling to school the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable groups is lower.
There will also be children who would be vulnerable if they are at home regardless of parent’s occupations. Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable. Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, children with child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
The following principles should be applied:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. 2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a key worker, then educational provision will be available for them. 3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions. 4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults. 5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings will continue to care for children wherever possible.
Students attending school will not be taught lessons in the normal format, they will largely be using the computer rooms to access the same work as those children working from home and social distancing will be applied where possible. Our expectations around full school uniform and full equipment will still apply. Our Behaviour Policy will remain in place and, as per our Behaviour Policy, mobile phones and headphones will not be allowed in school.
In order for us to plan effectively for next week we have created an online form for those who need to book a place at the school, as it would be unsafe for their child to work from home. This can be found here https://forms.gle/hpY13UiJM8czP5J78. If you are unable to complete this online, please contact the school today. The deadline for completion is 5:00pm today (Friday 20th March).
Given the timeframes, on Monday we will allow all students who have booked a place to attend. From Tuesday children who book a place where it is unsafe for them to work from home will need to provide evidence from their parent’s employer that based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Many thanks for your support with this and we hope that things will go back to normal as quickly as is possible.
Ms K Brown Headteacher