I know that you will have read information in the media about the Government’s intention for wider opening of schools on June 1st, so I wanted to update you about how this affects Oaklands School and our children.
As a special school, we are advised in the Government guidance that we ‘should work towards a phased return informed by risk assessments’
I recognise that there are mixed feelings about any re-opening of the school. Whilst some parents would welcome a return to ‘normality’, and may be urged to get back to work, others are understandably hesitant to send children in to school when the Covid 19 virus is an ongoing threat. I must tell you, that if the school does re-open to some children before the summer holidays, unfortunately, this would not be a return to normal routine. With daily changes to the staff team, the way in which the school would need to be organised to support social distancing, and potentially children being in different classes, the school would feel very different.
We are in the process of creating a detailed Risk Assessment that responds to the Government guidance, details of which we will share with you if the school is able to re-open to more children. However, as you can appreciate, the need for social distancing would prove extremely difficult in our school, and we would also be working with a much reduced staff team. I have been liaising closely with the other Leicester special school Headteachers and the Local Authority to ensure that we will all respond most effectively to keep our children and staff safe. There are a number of difficulties & questions that the Government guidance to date presents. I will keep you updated and our school leadership team will continue to discuss the most appropriate course of action.
I want to reassure you that if you are anxious about sending your child back in to school, and the school does open more widely before the end of the summer term, you are welcome to keep them at home still. We will keep you updated with all our preparations for making sure the school is as safe as possible, so you can make an informed decision. However, parents will not be fined if you do not send your child to school. If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable, or living with someone who is in this group, Government advice states that they should not come back to school and should continue home learning.
In the meantime, the school is still open only for vulnerable pupils with a social worker and the children of critical workers.
We would like to thank you for your continued support in helping your child to play, learn and remain safe at home. We will of course continue to support you with home learning activities, and meal vouchers for those eligible. Please do continue to stay in touch with us about how your child is getting on.
The team and I are doing everything we can, and working as quickly as we can, to get further information to you. We appreciate your patience and support. Together, we will beat this virus far more quickly, and we can return to normal as soon as possible.