Date 18 May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
As you are aware on the 10th May the Prime Minister announced a plan to partially “re-open” schools from 1st June, prioritising the return of children in Reception (FS) in INFANT schools, as well as continuing provision for our most vulnerable children and the children of key workers in ALL year groups. Since the Prime Minister’s announcement, schools have now received further guidance documents to inform our decision making.
The government’s ambition is for Foundation Stage children to be offered a full time place in classes of fewer than 15 children.
This causes significant challenges for schools, not least in relation to available staffing and classroom space. As teachers we have worked incredibly hard over the last 8 weeks to support our children, both in school and via online learning, and we would love to be able to welcome them all back to familiar classrooms and teachers as soon as possible, but current circumstances mean this will not be possible for some foreseeable time. The current situation and resulting government guidance means that we have been forced to make difficult decisions and adapt our ‘normal’ everyday practices. Any plans to return larger numbers of children to school on a part time basis have been overturned by the government’s recommendation that places should be offered on a full time basis, and those children that do return to school will see that much has changed. While these changes are unavoidable, safeguarding our school community remains our first priority.
I have been working closely with other local Head Teachers and while each school is unique, we share similar challenges and a desire to do the very best for the school community. In the short term our planning is hugely restricted by available resources, the number of staff (teachers and TA’s) that are unable to work (some are self-isolating or shielded) and the number and size of classrooms available, taking into account the need for outdoor space, particularly for our FS children. With all this in mind, we are able to offer full time schooling to the following groups of Children:
We will continue to provide online learning opportunities for all the children that remain at home. While the current guidance remains in place (specifically the requirement for places to be offered on a full time basis) we will be unable to see the return to school of any further year groups at present. Whilst I am sure that this situation may cause significant challenges to parents returning to work, I am sure that you prefer this level of clarity from the outset.
Please watch the attached video clip that outlines all the safety measures Poulner Infant School have put in place to safeguard those children returning to school. I hope the information in the video enables you to make an informed decision about your child returning to school.
It is important to note that the government has yet to confirm the date of 1st June for re-opening of schools – this depends on the progress in reducing the rate of Codvid-19 infections and increasing the track and test programme across the country
I will keep you posted as more guidance is shared with schools, all information is subject to change in light of any future government announcements.
Thank you for your continued support.
Looking forward to seeing you soon (albeit a few).
Mrs J Conner
Link to Poulner Infant School Return to School Video