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COVID-19 UPDATE LETTER FROM GUY CHAPPELL

21 May 2020

 

 

Dear Parents/ Carers

 

I hope you are all well, and that the ​general confusion in the media about the next steps for schools is not causing you additional concern.  I am going to outline the position for Trust Schools which will hopefully make things clearer for you.   As we all know, this is a new situation ​and one which we anticipate will continue to develop over time;  therefore it is essential to continue to work together and ​continue to communicate well while we move through the next steps.    

The most important things are that we keep the pupils and the staff safe by using and following the guidance based on Government information ​which includes the factors that have been considered ​through school ​based risk assessments.  ​In summary our planning must include the following:   

 

  • Controlling the transmission of the virus.
  • Promoting thorough personal hygiene.
  • Ensuring good respiratory hygiene: promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • Enhanced cleaning regimes.
  • Minimising contact and mixing through applying social distancing.
  • The availability of staff, and school support services; catering , cleaning , transport, etc. ​to enable us to operate effectively.
     

As you will be aware from the media, the ​Government focus ​appears at the moment ​to be on primary schools and Year 10s but for special schools we are being encouraged to take a more needs lead approach without specific reference to year groups.   Trust Schools will continue to provide the current offer whilst beginning to consult with parents/ carers about ​any potential  extension of the offer ​in full consideration of the  requirements ​of our pupils. 

 

The consultation ​regarding any changes to our current offer will begin immediately with a view to being ​potentially extended from the 8 June ​whilst ensuring the offer is ​both safe and sustainable.  As I am sure you will appreciate if you are following some of the media reports and government announcements, the process we need to go through in order to plan for any extension to opening is very complicated.  I can assure you we are all working very hard to unpick ever changing guidance and risk assess our position.  

 

We know that at this stage we will not be in a position to offer full time placement at school for any pupil for the foreseeable future (unless in exceptional circumstances) due to the limit on places;  we need to keep numbers attending school to a minimum in our attempt to support social distancing.  I would also highlight this approach could at any time be affected by the latest Government guidance, scientific or health advice.

 

I would like to be clear ​on the following ​guidance:

 

  • for pupils that have been advised to shield should continue to do so
  • ​and those pupils that are considered vulnerable, but wish to access school, should seek medical advice ​which confirms for the school that the pupil is able to return to school safely
  • Where parents have requested that their child remains at home and for those pupils whom we are not able to offer provision to at this time, schools will continue to provide remote support and learning resources as well as a minimum of weekly contact
     

All schools will continue to provide remote support and online resources to pupils that cannot attend school.

 

If you are feeling unsure​ of any information published or need support, ​please contact your school.

 

I really appreciate the support you have shown ​our schools over the past few weeks.  I understand how difficult this has been for some.   We will continue to work closely with you and work towards getting as many pupils safely into school as possible over the second half of this summer term ​once all factors outlined have been fully considered.  

 

If you have any questions, comments or wish to discuss any of this with myself or Headteachers,  please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Your sincerely

 

 


Guy Chappell
Executive Director
Special Partnership Trust

Email:  gchappell@specialpartnership.org


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