As directed by the Government, the school is currently closed for the vast majority of children.
On Sunday 10th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to reopen schools as step two of a process of easing the strict social distancing measures currently in place. During his speech, he said: “In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.’
He confirmed that the plans were ‘conditional’ and depend on a series of ‘big ifs’.
It follows that there remains a significant degree of uncertainty regarding the opening of our school. The school is working closely with the Local Authority and colleagues from other local schools to understand and implement the detail of this plan as it becomes available. Please be assured that any decisions that are made in this regard will be done so with our children’s continued safety and wellbeing our first and foremost consideration.
As the school is currently closed, the vast majority of pupils’ education continues from home.
The school does, however, remain open for two specific groups of pupils; those whose parents are defined as key workers and those who are particularly vulnerable including those with EHC plans.
Please note that these arrangements will continue over the scheduled half-term break.
A key worker is defined by the government as someone who works in:
- Health and Social Care: This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers and care workers. It also means other frontline staff such as support staff, producers and distributers of medicines and medical equipment.
- Education and Childcare: Includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and special education professionals.
- Key Public Services: includes courts staff, religious staff, undertakers and people in charities delivering key frontline services. Journalists and broadcasters providing public service reporting.
- Local and National Government: Government staff who are essential to the response to COVID-19 or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits.
- Food and Other Necessary Goods: Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (such as hygiene and veterinary medicines)
- Public Safety and National Security: Includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence staff and the armed forces. Firefighters, National Crime Agency staff and border security, prison and probation workers are also included
- Transport: Those who keep air, water, road and rail services operating.
- Utilities, Communication and Financial Services: Staff needed for essential financial services, IT and data which are needed to continue during the coronavirus response. Infrastructure workers who maintain oil, gas, electricity and water supplies are also included. This also features key staff in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications, postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
Parents are advised to check with their employer if they are included.
A number of parents have informed us that they fall into this category. Their children are attending school. We ask any other parents who fall into the category of key workers to contact the school via email at Office@thomasarnold.bardaglea.org.uk, or on our office number 0208 270 4588 so that we can arrange for your child to continue to attend school.
We have also identified those pupils who are in the second category, those that are vulnerable including those with EHC plans, and have contacted their parents and carers. If you believe your child falls into this latter category and you have not heard from us, please contact us as above.
Could we ask all parents of the children who are eligible to come into school to please consider very carefully whether it is an absolute necessity for them to attend? While we are very happy to support the national and local effort at this difficult time, children who could safely stay at home put themselves and others at much greater risk by attending school unnecessarily. Please take this advice into account when deciding whether your child should be in school.
Thank you for your continued support and for working with us in the weeks ahead.