Dear Parents and Carers,
I wish to share some key information with you about children’s eligibility to attend school. As it has been from the very start of dealing with the pandemic, we must achieve the balance of meeting the needs of the children (and their families) and keeping the staff team and community safe whilst following government guidance. Some of our class bubbles are now very large and obviously, the more children who attend school, the increased risk of infection.
Apart from the most vulnerable children, there is no automatic entitlement to a place in school. Please consider if your role / job is formally considered critical to the Covid-19 response or the EU transition. All critical workers will be considered for a place, as long as their job cannot be done from home. Even if you are a critical worker yourself, please ask whether you have ANY other alternative childcare options (and in particular, the other parent in the family / older siblings). Given the situation, sending your child to school should be your last resort, and every child who can safely be cared for at home should be if we are to tackle the spread of this virus together. You will have also read the correspondence that we sent out on Monday from the Director of Public Health and the Director of Children and Young People’s Services. This states that your child should stay at home if it is at all possible.
At the start of this lockdown, the letter offering a school place to those who were entitled stated that the place had to be full time, this has now changed and the guidance has asked that school work around a parent or carers’ work commitments. We would be happy to offer part time days of the week, but not part time hours in any one day. For example, if you work two days a week those should be the days that you apply for.
Places requested by parents will continue to be reviewed and considered in the light of each family’s particular circumstances and job roles (and formal evidence from your employer will be required to secure your child’s place in school).
For those families that already have a place in school, our staff team may be in contact with you soon to ask some questions or to check information from your employer.
That unwavering support from school will always be there, but I am sure you can empathise with this letter, given the seriousness of protecting our school community (and our NHS).