Friday 15th May 2020
With so much changing so quickly, I understand it can feel overwhelming. I will continue to attempt to keep you as up to date as possible, and have outlined some key points below…
Monday’s guidance released by the DfE, has revealed that PPE is still not deemed to be necessary for the majority of education staff and primary classes should be split, with groups capped at 15 pupils. The Government also admits that primary pupils “cannot be expected to remain two metres apart from each other and staff”. Although this is something we will continue to encourage.
The DfE’s guidance also states that the “majority” of education staff “will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of two metres from others”.
The DfE added that PPE is only needed in a “very small” number of cases including for children whose care routine already involves the use of PPE due to intimate care needs, or if a child becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and “needs direct personal care until they can return home”. The guidance also set out a range of “protective measures to ensure education settings remain safe places’’, including guidance on reducing class sizes and keeping children in small groups without mixing with others.
In addition, the guidance gives advice on staggered break and lunchtimes and drop-offs and pick-ups. There is also advice on increasing the frequency of cleaning, reducing the use of shared items and “utilising outdoor space” for children in Reception and Years 1 and 6.
All of the aforementioned points have been carefully factored into Elvington’s plan for a potential extension of our opening, from the week commencing 1st June (at the earliest). I will continue to monitor this situation carefully and will release additional details in due course.
As you know I have attempted to contact parents and carers who have a child/ren in the aforementioned groups. This was to discuss the proposals and hopefully answer questions. I would like to thank you for giving up your time to speak to me.
One of the questions that was raised most frequently was, will parents/carers face fines if they decide not to send their children to school? I can provide the following in response: The DfE announced on Monday that parents/carers who do not send their children back to the classroom, when schools potentially reopen from 1st June, will not face fines.
I realise, both as a Headteacher and a parent, that this rapidly evolving situation can generate a range of emotions and questions. As always I can be contacted via email: email@example.com.
Mr. Andrew Buttery