PHASED RETURN INFORMATION
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Closure of educational settings: information for parents and carers
Can you guarantee it will be safe for pupils and staff?
Children, young people and teachers’ safety is our top priority. That’s why we are taking a cautious, phased approach to the wider opening of schools.
We have worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to develop guidance on implementing protective measures which schools should put in place. This guidance sets out a hierarchy of controls which schools should work through and which, when implemented, create an inherently safer system where the risk of transmission of infection is significantly reduced.
These controls are:
- avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
- frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene practices
- regular cleaning of settings
- minimising contact and mixing
All staff and children and their families will also have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus.
Why are you welcoming more children back when they can’t stay 2m apart?
We know 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. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account. Schools should, therefore, work through the hierarchy of controls to reduce the risk of transmission – crucially minimising contact and mixing by keeping children and staff in small consistent groups and keeping groups away from each other.
Will parents of eligible children be penalised if they do not send their child to school?
We strongly encourage children and young people who are in the eligible groups to attend, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).
You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you.
Parents will not be penalised for non-attendance at this time.
Will education be provided as normal to children who are attending?
Schools and colleges continue to be best placed to make decisions about how to support and educate all their pupils during this period, based on the local context and staff capacity.
Where year groups are returning to school, we would expect school leaders and teachers to:
- consider their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing and identify any pupil who may need additional support so they are ready to learn
- assess where pupils are in their learning and agree what adjustments may be needed to the school curriculum over the coming weeks
- identify and plan how best to support the education of high needs groups, including disadvantaged pupils, and SEND and vulnerable pupils
- support pupils in year 6, who will need both their primary and secondary schools to work together to support their upcoming transition to year 7
- consider how to best use additional contact time to support those in years 10 and 12 and the first year of a 16 to 19 course, who are starting their final year of study for GCSEs, A levels and other qualifications next academic year
Schools should use best endeavours to support pupils attending school as well as those remaining at home, making use of the available remote learning support.
No school will be penalised if they are unable to offer a broad and balanced curriculum to their pupils during this period.
Can I send my child to supplementary schools / community activities or private tuition instead?
Apart from those children who are eligible to return to attend early years and school, it remains the case that you should keep your child at home to limit the chance of the virus spreading. You should not use any in-person supplementary schools, community activities or after school clubs or tuition. We are expecting these settings to remain closed for the time being.
Can my child repeat a year?
Once a child has been admitted to a school it is for the head teacher to decide how best to educate them. This may, on occasion, include deciding that a child should be educated in a year group other than the one indicated by their age. Such decisions should be based on sound educational reasons and in consultation with parents.
We do not currently anticipate that children and young people will need to repeat a school year as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. We continue to look at all options to make sure children and young people get the support they need to continue their education during the coronavirus outbreak and make up for time spent out of school.
However, it remains possible for headteachers to agree this in individual cases if they think it is appropriate.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.
Instagram and Twitter
Don’t forget to keep up to date with our news on our Instagram and Twitter accounts @HighViewPlym
PLASTIC FREE PLEDGE – NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP!
As you know, High View have taken the pledge to become a single use plastic free school in order to support our environment. Having investigated things which we can change, we have noticed that lots of children who have a packed lunch don’t have refillable drink bottles. We would like to stop the use of single use plastic drinks i.e. fruit shoot etc., therefore we will now be providing juice, milk or water for children who do not have a reusable bottle. Please can we ask that your child only brings in a refillable bottle or has a school supplied drink from now on?
Thank you for your support.