15th May Update
Dear Parents and Carers,
On Sunday I communicated with you all to say that we would look carefully at the guidance, set out by the Prime Minister, for schools – which we have been doing. The announcement on Sunday evening has some significant implications regarding the possible phased reopening for children in certain year groups from 1st June, informed by the national health position and COVID-19 data.
There are a number of serious issues to consider. Many discussion have been taking place between Ouseburn Learning Trust Heads and more widely across the City. A City-wide approach (first the how – then the when) is being developed involving school leaders, the Local Authority and trade unions. Detailed risk assessments have to be completed before we can consider which children might return to school. These will not be completed for there to be any changes in school on 1st June. We will have more information about the likely plan next week.
I want to be honest and clear with you all: I have serious concerns about the suggestion that Nursery and Reception children should be amongst the first to return to school. We cannot guarantee social distancing for our youngest children – that is not how schools operate. Some of the advice seems to be driven more by economic priorities than sound scientific and medical understanding.
Whatever plan we create for Hotspur will be phased in gradually to ensure we do not create a serious situation which would lead to the complete closure of the school. I appreciate many parents have significant concerns at this time over the re-opening of schools and I want to reassure parents that the safety of your children and for all of our staff team will be our prime concern. I also want to clarify that returning to school, when it is safe to do so, in the final summer term will be a matter for parental choice and in response to a number of initial concerns from parents already, there will be no penalty if you decide to keep your child at home until September.
To help with our planning we have created a very short survey. It would be really helpful if you could complete this. We want to gauge the thoughts of parents and carers to children returning to school before the summer holidays. This does not commit you to anything but will give us an indication of the possible numbers that might return.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement with various online resources and the recent QUEST. You will all have been contacted by someone from school recently – we are just ‘checking in’ with you rather than ‘checking up’ so don’t fear the call from school.
We shall be in touch with you next week with further details.