We are opening to more pupils week beginning the 22 June and the families of those pupils who will be returning have been contacted and some transition materials shared ahead of the return. We have made changes to the environment to support safe expansion of numbers which have been detailed elsewhere on the website.
This is in line with advice that the Government has released for Special Schools saying that there should be accessibility for greater numbers but that ‘Provision in Special Schools will be determined by individual risk assessments carried out by the school in conjunction with the Local Authority’.
As we review our risk assessments for pupils, staff and operational matters we expect there to be changes and these will be notified to you on the website or through email/text communication. To assist us in ensuring safe operation it would be helpful if you can contact us at school if your family circumstances have changed so that we can amend any risk assessments that are currently in place.
Class teachers and form tutors will continue to be in touch with families in the week beginning 13/07/2020 to check in and find out how things are going at home. Please use this as an opportunity to discuss any concerns that you may have. If there are immediate issues that arise regarding individual circumstances please feel free to ‘phone the school or email email@example.com
All parents who would normally be in receipt of Free School Meals have been receiving vouchers to the value of £15 per week either via email direct from Edenred or by post from the school. These have been sent out every two weeks and have continued throughout the COVID 19 period since March 2020.
Please note that the next set of FSM vouchers will be sent in the week commencing 13 July. This will be to the value of £15 per child ie for one week only. This takes us to the end of the Summer term 2020. As the government has now agreed to fund parents entitled to Free School Meals throughout the six week Summer holiday period, one further voucher will be sent out in the week commencing 20th July. This voucher will be to the full value of £90 per child (£15 per week x 6 weeks) and no further vouchers will be sent out following this. It is therefore important that you check your email inbox and junk email box to make sure you pick up the email from Edenred with the voucher code which you will need to redeem as usual.
The current government guidance to schools and parents regarding the closure of educational settings can be found here.
The key principles are:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision should be available for them.
Government guidance says, ‘many parents working in [critical] 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’.
A list of critical sectors can be found here
Government guidance says, ‘vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.’
The government says, ‘this is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.’
The government says, ‘special schools, colleges and local authorities are advised to make case by case basis assessments of the health and safeguarding considerations of pupils and students on an education, health and care (EHC) plan. For some, they will be safer in an education provision. For others, they will be safer at home. We trust leaders and parents to make these decisions and will support them as required.’
In the meantime, the advice remains the same in terms of trying to contain the infection and so those with a temperature or a new continuous cough should not attend work or school for 14 calendar days. Those with other minor symptoms should continue to live their lives normally.
We are in close contact with the Local Authority and continue to work with them to make informed decisions about risks associated with Coronavirus. We are receiving updates from the DfE each day and the latest edition can be found here.
The Department for Education have launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).
The advice is that if students or staff are feeling unwell with symptoms of Coronavirus, they are advised to keep away from others and stay at home to stop the infection spreading. The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- Difficulty in breathing
Pupils should be reminded to wash their hands often, to cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue before throwing it in a bin (‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’) and to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
The Department for Education has also informed us that no school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England. We have also been advised that we should use an alcohol-based sanitiser and will be doing so. If you have any medical, cultural or other reason why the gel should not be applied can you please contact the school office
The Autism Helpline enquiry service provides impartial, confidential information along with advice and support for autistic people and their families and carers.
Shopping for Vulnerable People
For those people that have children with Additional Needs, including Autism, and no one else to do shopping for them Tesco’s will let you book under the Vulnerable people’s slot for Online shopping. To register under this scheme you need to call is 08009177359 and inform them of your circumstances.
Waitrose and Sainsburys are accepting DLA award letters as proof that you are a vulnerable family and allowing you to use their restricted times for the vulnerable, NHS workers etc. Some Tesco stores are also allowing it – you may need to check your local store as it isn’t all of them.