As infection rates continue to rise across the county, the Director of Public Health and the Director of Children and Family Services request that face coverings are worn by parents and carers at school pick up and drop off in Leicestershire.
Cases are rising nationally, but there are particular areas of concern in the county, and public health officials are advising residents to be vigilant in all day to day activities. It has been difficult for some parents to maintain social distancing at school gates, and this further measure will help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The advice remains the same: keeping your distance, getting a test only if you have covid symptoms, washing your hands and wearing a face covering where required. Parents and carers are asked to do everything they can to protect their families and friends.
Stay at Home to Save Lives!
I am very concerned. I am picking up on reports about social media threads from certain parents at our school. Apparently, some parents who think they may fall into the key worker category, plan to be using the childcare available at school as a convenience. This will not be allowed. For example, child-minders do not fall into the category of being a key worker, and as they will be at home, they must keep their own children at home with them.
The child supervision being made available is only for workers who have been identified by the government as working to keep the country on its feet during this time of crisis.
I know that these people don’t really want their children out of their own homes. I know my staff don’t want their children out of their homes. Anyone in their right mind obviously would rather keep their children safely indoors away from this infection.
Even if key workers are going out to work, but have another adult at home, (for example a family member who may be working from home) they should keep their children at home. The school childcare must only be used as a last resort.
Tomorrow I will be contacting all of the key workers (if I haven’t had an email already) to try and work around being open for their children. If I have no children to supervise, I will obviously have my staff and their children working from home, where they are safer. If you already know the times and dates that you will be dropping off and collecting children, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. I want to be able to space the children and staff out as much as possible while they are in school in order to keep them as safe as I can. I understand that demands upon parents may change, particularly for those who are themselves supporting colleagues of key workers etc, and we may have to work on a day to day basis as we move forward.
Please be advised that we are NOT teaching while the children are at school. We have been directed to supervise the online work set by class teachers so that children in school are equal to those at home. Schools are offering a childcare facility and are not obliged to teach the National Curriculum at this time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. Stay safe and stay indoors.
Stay at Home to Save Lives!
On Monday 23rd March school will be partially open for children of key workers; as I write this letter I am still not entirely sure who these children will be.
We know we will not be running a normal school day for any children who come to school. It will be supervision offering educational opportunities rather than National Curriculum. The work the children will be covering will be the same work set for the children who are at home.
On Monday, none of the children will be set any additional work whether they are at home or at school, this is to give the teachers’ time to prepare it.
It is important that you realise that I am responsible for keeping my staff as safe as possible from the virus too. They too need to be staying at home as much as possible. We will therefore be working towards running on a skeleton staff. Yes, we want to fulfil our role in caring for children whose parents need us to be looking after their children, but I need those key workers to keep their children with them when they are at home. We should only have children here when their key worker parent is out at work, or if there is no one else at home to look after them. We will therefore be expecting parents to sign their child in and out at any point between our opening times, which will include our breakfast clubs and after school clubs. I understand that this needs to be flexible depending on the demands being put upon key workers.
If your child falls into a high risk health category, you may choose not to send them into school, even if they are entitled to a place at school.
Children, who come into school, do not need to wear school uniform. They will be outside playing games at time, so suitable comfortable clothing.
For the parents and children I won’t see over the coming weeks, stay safe and keep in touch with us.