I am writing to update you all on our plans for the wider opening of our school.
You may have seen that yesterday Lancashire published advice to mainstream schools to delay wider opening until Monday 15th June. Mainstream schools have been advised to continue with the guidance issued last week which will now be reviewed on a weekly basis with the next update expected on Monday 8th June in relation to wider opening on Monday 15th June. The medical advice for this comes from Dr Sakthi Karunanithi who I was fortunate enough to attend a virtual meeting with and other special school headteachers on Tuesday. During this meeting he explained the reasons behind his advice to Lancashire mainstream schools and gave us the opportunity to answer questions pertinent to our setting.
Special schools have been requested to continue to consider all individual pupil risk assessments and in consultation with all other professionals, make the decision on how to safely increase pupil numbers. Every decision we make should be based on our risk assessment which will then be fully supported by the local authority. Our current risk assessment can be viewed on our school website. Along with my leadership team and the governors, I have re-evaluated all risk assessments and have come to the decision that we feel we can continue with our original plan and increase our pupils on role on Monday 8th June. This is a very small and controlled increase that will enable us to maintain the social bubbles we have put in place. The impact of this increase in pupil numbers will be carefully monitored over the next couple of weeks to ensure we are keeping all children and staff safe and are managing to adhere to our risk assessments and strict protocols.
Phase 1 wider opening on 8th June
School will be increasing pupil numbers from Monday 8th June. Parents of these children have all been contacted last week and will know what sessions their child is able to attend. Places have been carefully allocated to ensure we can maintain social bubbles to limit contact between groups of staff and pupils.
Drop off and pick up
If you have agreed to bring your child to school and pick them up at the end of the day, please can I ask parents to adhere to the following times and protocols so that we can limit any congestion at the start and end of the school day:
- Only one parent/carer to bring a child to the school entrance
- Drop off between 9:15am and 9:45am
- Pick up between 2:15pm and 2:45pm
Please can I remind parents/carers that children must be wearing a full set of clean clothes at the start of every session. In line with public health and government guidance, we recommend that children are showered and changed into clean clothing on returning home. Your child must have in school one complete set of clean clothes in a plastic bag that we can keep in school.
We are asking that you do not send your child to school with a bag unless it is absolutely necessary and in this case, a plastic disposable bag should be used. Home school diaries are currently not being used but parents will receive a phone call or email (parental preference) at the end of the day.
The nursing team have asked us to remind all parents to send back to school the care plans they have recently sent home for agreement and signing. These MUST be in school for your child returning.
I would like to reassure you all that as a school, we are doing our best to maintain some kind of normality and routine for children attending. There is no question that school currently is a very different place to normal and some children will find it difficult to adjust.
As a headteacher, I am still battling with the sadness and worry that I can not give you a guarantee that school is 100% safe but what I can say is that my team of staff are doing a remarkable job providing the very best care for the pupils who need it and I remain forever grateful to them.
Thank you for your continued support and patience as we try to navigate our way safely through this difficult time.
Take care and stay safe,