Schools Closed Due to Covid-19
19th March 2020
Update - March 26th 4.00pm
A final email to remind you that from tomorrow emergency child care will be at Little Mead Primary Academy only. The school address is Gosforth Road, Southmead, Bristol. BS10 6DS.
For those who have let us know you need breakfast club care or after school care arrangements; the entrance for this is the back entrance to the school which is on Embleton Road via the Visitors car park. You will see a large green gate with a sign on it that says breakfast club. Park on the road and walk through this gate and down the path towards the blue door. There is a sign on the door. Press the buzzer and we will answer. Breakfast club care is available from 7.45am. The gates to breakfast club will be closed from 8:25am.
For all other children, please read this carefully and come in through the correct entrance for you school. We are trying to ensure that we keep to social distancing rules wherever possible.
Little Mead and Charlton Wood children: please use the main school entrance on Gosforth Road. The entrances are clearly labelled and Mr Lankaster and Miss Cooke will be on hand to point you in the right direction.
Henbury Court and Fonthill children: please use the main school entrance on Wigton Crescent. The entrances are clearly labelled and Mr Howarth-Brown and Miss Rice will be on hand to point you in the right direction.
Teachers from the school will be outside the classroom waiting for you. Please note, this may be a different classroom from today.
All children will have a school meal at lunch time provided for free until further notice. This will be prepared on site. Children will choose from the menu every morning. There is no need to pre-order. Children need to bring in their own snacks and a water bottle. We are no longer receiving the free fruit or the milk for key stage one/reception children.
THESE SNACKS MUST NOT CONTAIN NUTS. DUE TO SEVERE STAFF AND CHILD ALLERGIES; LITTLE MEAD IS TOTALLY NUT FREE. THIS INCLUDES HANDCREAMS, SOAPS AND SHAMPOOS PLEASE.
Children must continue to be in school uniform please.
From Monday, we will be operating a duty head teacher rota where two head teachers from the trust will be on site at any one time. The school offices are shut however, if urgent you can call 07852 990249 during the school opening hours if you need to talk to a duty headteacher. Please use your usual school email address if it is not urgent as these will be monitored regularly.
Thank you again for your support.
24th March 3.00pm
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you to all parents who have managed to find alternative care for your children during this difficult time. Can we please be clear that this care should not be provided by people over the age of 70 or who are in a vulnerable group. School-based child care is available if you have no alternatives.
From Friday, this provision will be based at Little Mead Primary Academy on Gosforth Road. We have taken this decision so that we can ensure that we are able to continue to offer this provision for as long as it is needed and so that we can minimise the risk to our staff by having as few staff working on site as possible. Please can I reassure you that the move to a single site will not increase the size of the pupil group your child is in. While we have the school staff to manage this, we will be keeping numbers in the groups as low as we can (maximum of 10) and keeping each group separate from each other at all times including break and lunch times. The only reason we would change this is if we experience severe staff shortages. We would inform you of this before it happens. School-based child care will be available from 7.45am, where we will provide a free breakfast club, until 3.30pm. If you need after school care, please make sure you let us know and we will support this as much as we are able.
We have been contacting parents over the last 24 hours so that we can make a register of who needs this provision, on which days and for what hours. If we haven’t been able to speak to you, then please contact your school office today or tomorrow at the very latest. We will not be able to offer this to parents who haven’t pre-booked this with us.
March 23th 9.00am
Dear Parents & Carers,
If you were offered a place for you child at school for emergency child care, please can I urge you to only take up the place if absolutely necessary. The Government message today is very clear and we must do all we can to stay away from each other. Every additional person that we come into contact with increases risk. We must to try and reduce this number as much as possible. Currently we have a large numbers of children eligible for a place at our school. Our staff are being asked to put themselves and their families at risk to provide this care and are willing to do so but please can I urge you to only use school based child care as a last resort.
March 20th 2.00pm
Dear Parents & Carers,
Learning from Home packs:
- Week one & two are available on the school website
- An Easter holiday fun pack will be added next week
- Further weeks of Learning for Home materials will be added after the Easter Holiday
- We have included a mixture of internet and non-internet based activities however if you have severely limited access to the internet and want a paper copy of the activities; please let the school office know and one will be posted to you or you can collect one at the end of the day if you are not self-isolating.
School based child care:
Children with Education, Health and Care Plan and other Government defined vulnerable groups:
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or is in another vulnerable category, we have either contacted you already or will have contacted you before the end of the day and explained the arrangements for Monday.
Thank you for your patience whilst we have been putting together the final stage of our plan for Monday. If you have contacted the office with regards to school based child care for key workers, we will be in touch before the end of the day by email or phone. Please can I stress that the Government advice is very clear, you should only be sending your child for school based care if there is absolutely no alternative. Limiting contact and reducing gatherings to their lowest possible number is the only way that we can limit the spread of the disease. Our staff are being asked to increase their risk and so we all have a responsibility to limit this to as few children as possible.
In order to minimise the risk for those children who will be at school and our staff, we will:
- Keep group sizes as low as we can manage with the staff we have available
- Each group will not be allowed to mix with other groups and we will keep them separate on the playground
- There will be no whole school activities like assemblies
- As is the case now, children will be encouraged to frequently wash their hands
We can only offer this service while we have staff well enough to do so. Provision in school should be the last resort.
Children eligible for Free School Meals:
The Government have announced that they are working on a scheme to support children who are not at school but who are eligible for free school meals so please keep an eye out on the news and we will let you know as soon as we know. In the meantime, if your child is eligible for free school meals and not attending school from Monday, you will be receiving a separate letter from us the next few days. Please look out for this.
Thank you once again for your support this week.
20th March 9.00am
Dear Parents and Carers,
The Government has released the list of ‘key workers.’ Parents of children who work in the areas listed can bring their child to school from Monday. In order for us to be able to plan for this, please can we ask that you contact the school office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone today as soon as possible and by 11am to let us know if you are in these categories. Sorry for the very short notice but this information was published for schools at 4am this morning! If you are currently at work and therefore don’t receive this email before 11am, then please contact us as soon as you are able.
From the Department for Education:
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Health and social care
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
Key public services
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
Public safety and national security
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
19th March 4.00pm
Dear Parents and Carers,
Our ‘Learning from Home’ materials for the next two weeks will be available on our website tomorrow. Although there are some internet-based activities, most do not require internet access. If you have no internet access and require a paper copy of the materials, please contact the office tomorrow and one will be provided. We will continue to create new materials every fortnight whilst school is closed. We are also sending children home with several reading books. Please can we ask that you encourage and support your children in reading them but also ensure that they are cared for and returned as we will need them when things go back to normal.
We understand your frustrations at the lack of information about who is and isn’t a key worker. We share this frustration! We have contacted the parents of all of the children we know qualify to attend school from Monday under the Education, Care and Health Plan rule and those children who have assigned social worker support. Other than that, we are waiting for the Government announcement just as you are.
Once it is announced, we will let you know and then we ask that you contact the school office by email email@example.com or by phone before 10am tomorrow if you think you are key worker. The quicker we know the numbers, the quicker we can finalise our plans for Monday and let you know.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a place at school for children whose parents do not meet the key worker criteria. The Government intention of closing schools is to limit the number of people being together in a group to its minimum and to limit people travelling as much as possible.
Thank you once again for your support. We will be in contact with our final plans for Monday as soon as we know the numbers of children involved.
19th March 8.00am
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you will know, the Government announced yesterday at 5pm that all schools in England are to shut after the end of the school day tomorrow - Friday 20th March. We do not know how long this closure is for. By tomorrow, we will publish our “Learning from Home” information and resources on the school website.
From Monday, some children will be coming to school. We are awaiting confirmation from the Government as to which children fall into this category. We know it will include children with Education, Health and Care Plans and children who have a social worker. The school will be in touch with the parents of these children this afternoon to confirm this. The other category is ‘key workers’ – we have not yet been given the full list of who this includes. We know it will include NHS workers, police and emergency services, social workers and food delivery drivers however it is likely to include others. As soon as we have this information, we will share it with you. In the meantime, if you feel you are in the categories mentioned so far, please call or email the school firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Thank you for all your support so far. We are very grateful for all your kind words and offers help that we have already received.