Coronavirus Update - School Closure Monday 23 March 2020
Updated: Mar 24
Dear Parents and Carers
Coronavirus update – school closure to most students from Monday 23 March 2020
Following on from my last update, you will doubtless be aware that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday and until further notice. As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
I am sure you will be as saddened as myself and my staff that this measure has become necessary. Everyone in the school community has worked exceptionally hard with great flexibility and good humour this week to keep the school functioning as normally as possible. Your children have responded exactly as I would expect of Crofton students, with exceptional kindness and hard work. They are a real credit to you, and you can be immensely proud of how they have responded. However we must now direct our efforts to ensuring that they receive the best possible educational provision during this unprecedented and difficult global challenge.
Please note arrangements for Friday 20 March remain as previously communicated i.e. the school will be open to Years 9, 10 and 11, Years 7 and 8 to remain at home. However if Year 11 students wish to leave after their Maths Mock exam (approx. 10.30 a.m.) we are happy to authorise this. There will be provision on site if they wish to stay, and parents should contact us if they would prefer their children remain in school.
The remainder of this update provides detail on the provision we are planning for your child during the closure. Further guidance is emerging all the time so I will inform you separately of any changes as they occur, but I feel it is best to give you as much detail as I can at this point in time to help you with your own planning for home and work.
Provision for Children of Key Workers
The government has asked all schools to remain open for children of key workers. At the time of writing the government has yet to confirm their definition of key workers. We are sending this without this confirmation rather than delay any longer. Based on past information we believe this definition may include NHS frontline staff, NHS support staff, Emergency services, Teacher, Armed Forces, Delivery Drivers, Supermarket/ Food Supply Chain Workers, Pharmacy workers. However please refer to any government announcement on this when it is made.
In the meantime, if you believe that you are in this category, please follow this survey link:
Returns should be completed no later than 1 p.m. on Friday 20 March. A separate survey must be completed for each child. Returns completed after this may not be considered due to our limited capacity to respond in a timely manner.
We are awaiting further guidance from the government on this provision; I am sure you will understand this is a unique circumstance for the school and being planned at very short notice. Please also be aware that this is also dependent on us having sufficient staff available on the school site. However as long as you are able to provide the information required via the survey link above by 1 p.m. on Friday, we are confident we will be able to provide a good working environment, supervision and access to most school facilities from Monday for these students.
We will be able to confirm details of this provision to those eligible by the end of tomorrow.
Provision for Vulnerable Children
The government has also asked that schools remain open for vulnerable students, which have been currently defined as those with an Education, Health and Care Plan and those who have a social worker. We will be in contact with the parents of these children directly on Friday, with details of this.
Children Eligible for Free School Meals
The government is currently developing a method for providing these to students not in school. We will communicate separately with those eligible as soon as we have more details. For tomorrow (Friday 20 March) we will continue to make a packed lunch available for any student not in school. If you would like us to provide this, please email Miss Knight email@example.com or call the school Reception 01329 664251, and we will make these available for collection at the school reception from midday each day.
All other children
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards, or attend the school site yourself. Please note that this is a national closure so whilst it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We will re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is, through our usual systems.
I appreciate that, aside from the inevitable disruption this will cause for your family, you will be concerned about the potential impact on your child’s learning. Work will be available for each timetabled lesson for every student for the duration of the closure. This will be set on the ‘Show My Homework’ website (https://showmyhomework.co.uk/login) and app, which all students have access to. Students already regularly use this platform, including during this week’s partial year group closures. You have previously received communications from us about how to set a parent account up. If students are not in school and have any issues accessing online learning, they can contact our IT support team during school hours on firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
We recognise this is a highly unusual situation and that such work is not a perfect substitute for being in school, but hope we can provide materials that will minimise the impact of the time away from school. We will be sending you further advice and ideas on how to support you students and keep them safe during this period ahead of next week. We are also developing additional ways to set work and give feedback to students, and understand the government are doing the same. As soon as we have more information on this, we will share this with you.
We will keep you informed of any further information relating to this closure via the school website and through our usual communication routes. There is also a Department for Education coronavirus helpline available to answer questions about Covid-19 relating to education and children’s social care; please see details below.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
If you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Finally, please remember that although the school is closed to most students, we are still available to support you and your children. Do please contact us at email@example.com if you have any queries or concerns.
Mr S Harrison
Headteacher, Crofton School