Wider Re-Opening Information
As you will be aware, the government has stated that subject to a planned statement next week indicating that appropriate Covid-19 conditions have been met, schools should widen their re-opening to eligible pupils as soon as possible from Monday 1 June, 2020, focussing upon ensuring that Vulnerable Children and the children of Critical Workers (who have now been urged to allow their children to attend school rather than to keep their children at home), and pupils within F2, Y1 and Y6 are able to attend in priority order.The school has therefore been working urgently to plan next steps in liaison with other local schools, LearnSheffield and Sheffield City Council to comply with this requirement whilst ensuring that the health and safety of pupils and staff is not compromised.
If the government statement, expected on 28 May, indicates that it is not safe to re-open schools more widely due to the Covid-19 situation from 1 June, the school will continue in its current opening arrangements, providing care for Vulnerable Children and the children of Critical Workers who have no alternative but to send their child to school.
If the government statement indicates that it is safe to re-open schools more widely from 1 June, the school will:
- On Monday 1 June - continue in accordance with its current opening arrangements above, providing care for Vulnerable Children and the children of Critical Workers who have been regularly attending since 23 March only.
- From Tuesday 2 June - open more widely on the basis of prioritising the attendance of Vulnerable Pupils, and all children of Critical Workers whom the government recommend should attend (please find Critical Worker definition here – there are currently over 150 pupils with at least one recorded Critical Worker parent within school).
- The school will then prioritise the wider attendance of children in the F2 and Y1 year groups as soon as is safely possible.
Please note that in the event of the Covid-19 situation allowing the wider re-opening of the school from 2 June onwards for the children of Critical Workers, the provision offered by the school to the increased numbers of attending pupils will have to change significantly.More information regarding these changes will be distributed to parents and carers prior to 2 June, as it will be important to prepare attending children for these changes before they re-start at the school. However, please note the following information that will apply from Tuesday 2 June onwards:
- In accordance with DfE requirements, attending pupils will be accommodated in small consistent groupings whilst at school.This means that it may unfortunately not be possible to place attending pupils with their usual teacher in their usual classroom.
- It will be necessary to implement significant alterations to the structures and routines of the school day to offer provision safely for children who may be attending school from 2 June onwards.Further information will be provided in this regard, but these alterations will include:
- Re-configuration of classrooms, with specific pupil places where appropriate and individual resources established in order to reduce potential transmission risk
- The observance of 2m physical distancing whenever possible (for example when moving around the school pupils will be expected to form small lines standing apart from their peers)
- Significant quantities of learning and other resources will need to be removed from the classroom and will therefore no longer be accessible to attending pupils
- Staggered drop-off and collection times for pupils at the start and end of each school day will be instituted which will alter usual session times
In response to already received enquiries from parents and carers regarding expectations of pupil attendance if wider re-opening of the school does take place from 2 June onwards, the school can communicate that attendance by pupils will be a decision that rests with the child’s family (please find here a letter from Greg Fell, Sheffield City Council Director of Public Health for more information).Although in the first instance children of Critical Workers are encouraged to attend, the school understands that many parents and carers may not wish their child to attend school at this point.The school would like to reassure parents and carers in such situations that the Department of Education has confirmed that non-attendance by children of Critical Workers and subsequently eligible pupils will not result in future attendance action or penalty notice due to the unprecedented nature of the current situation.
The school would also like to state that it is acutely aware that current government guidance does not focus upon provision for Y2 pupils, despite the deep focus which the school gives to the transition and other processes which this year group usually undertakes within the Summer Term.As such, the school is actively pursuing the interests of this year group at local and city level, and is liaising closely with its sister setting, Lydgate Junior School, to identify a range of options to support transition in the coming weeks.
As noted previously, the school would like to thank all parents and carers for their understanding and patience during this unprecedented time, and to again assure you all that further wider re-opening and other information will be shared as soon as is possible.
Best wishes to you all, and many thanks for your continuing support.