RE: Arrangements for possible school reopening on June 1st
Following the government’s decision to potentially open schools for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils, I am sure you have many questions. Although schools have received more guidance since the announcement we still have lots of questions that need clarification too! However, we feel it is important to keep you updated with what we know rather than you relying on information from the media which is not always accurate or applicable to Lever Edge Primary Academy.
What is the current situation?
At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the current guidance. We will continue to provide care for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and those that cannot be safely cared for at home. The overall message now, and in the future, is that it is safer to stay at home.
What is school doing to prepare for possible opening on Monday 1st June?
We recognise that you may have some concerns about your child returning to school and, that for some children, another change will be unsettling for them. We also understand that the past weeks will have been challenging for many families.
Sadly, our school will be a very different place when the children return. This is necessary in order to be able to implement the government’s safety measures.
A range of approaches and actions will be employed across school to minimise the spread of the virus. These include but are not limited to:
• avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
• frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
• regular cleaning of school
• minimising contact and mixing between staff and pupils
Government guidance acknowledges that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. Considering this, please be aware that, whilst endeavouring to enforce children to social distance, we cannot make this happen or guarantee that this will happen 100% of the time. This becomes more applicable the younger the age-range of the children.
What will the new provision look like at Lever Edge?
• Children will be assigned to a group of up to 10 pupils and 1/2 adults. This group will then stay together throughout each day creating a bubble, and avoiding other groups. Please note that in order to split the class your child may not be with their current teacher, or in their current classroom. Groups will not mix at any point during the school day.
• Children will have their own stationery, equipment and an allocated desk. Desks will be spaced 2m apart.
• Classrooms will be reconfigured and unnecessary items removed (e.g. some storage, soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean).
• The curriculum will look and feel very different as there are limitations to what we can deliver whilst keeping protective measures in place.
• Start and finish times will be staggered. If your child needs to be accompanied to school, only one parent should attend. Your child will be allocated a drop off and collection time and we will inform you of the process for this.
• There will be no before or after school provision, including after school clubs, due to the limitations placed on children mixing between groups.
• Visitors without prior appointment will not be allowed access to the school building. All parental communication should be either by telephone or email.
What will happen next?
Please be assured that we will not re-open for the specified year groups until we are 100% prepared and our plans are based on what we as a school community, need and want. Bearing in mind the points above and the official guidance, I want you to know that we miss you and your children and do want to welcome them back to school as soon as it is safe to do so. We remain committed to helping our school community feel safe and secure as we move forwards. However, if you as parents decide that the situation in school is too concerning, we would absolutely support you in the decision to keep your child/ren out of school. Following guidance, any parent who decides that they do not want their child to return to school during this period of time will not be fined.
The speculation in the press and on social media is now be about how schools can open safely (or whether they should open at all before September), and no doubt it will intensify over the next few weeks. As always, at Lever Edge, we take the view that we need to consider all of our actions carefully, before making decisions and we will need to continue to review the protective measures we implement. These decisions will always first and foremost take into account the welfare and well-being of staff, pupils and parents in our school.
We understand that this is a challenging time and parents are faced with a very difficult decision to make. We are here to support you and if you require any further guidance then please contact the school office by telephone or email.
Further updates will be provided but until then, please do not worry or compare us to other schools – we are unique and will make decisions which best suit us as a school community.
Mrs K James