Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you remain well and are in good spirits. I’m sure you’ve heard that the government has now issued more guidance about children returning to school. Many of you will have questions about what this means for your child. Firstly, we want to reassure you that the key priority for us is to ensure the safety of your child. The school leadership team is currently undertaking a detailed risk assessment and putting in place a range of protective measures before we will open our doors to more pupils. We are planning for changes that are as supportive as possible for children and families, whilst being manageable for our school.
The government has set an ambition for more pupils to begin to return to school from the 1st June and they have been clear about the priority order of pupils. However, as a Special School we can make our own decisions, and as I have said previously, we will be considering how we move forward very carefully. We will not be able to increase student numbers at Wilson Stuart on June 1st. However, we will be putting all of our efforts in making this happen as soon as we can, but only when we are confident the plans we have made allow us to do this as safely as is possible. When we do start to stagger the increase of pupil numbers in school we will be monitoring the situation very carefully and will only make further increases when we feel confident this is possible.
Some changes to normal will be necessary. We will be considering different times for the start and end of day for groups to manage social distancing. We are planning to teach in “family groups” that will remain separate at all times in school. As you will know, social distancing will be impossible for many of our students, so staff will have PPE (personal protective equipment) when necessary. At the moment, only two students are allowed to travel on a mini-bus at one time.
The government has been clear that pupils who are shielded due to their medical vulnerability or who are at significant clinical risk or who live in a household with someone who is shielded or otherwise clinically at risk should remain at home. We are all responding to new guidance as we get it, but this is often changes at short notice.
We have begun to contact families to discuss their views and concerns about a return to school. We will be starting with very small numbers of students. Clearly, we all share the view that we want children to be back in school, but this has to be when we and you as parents are reassured that this will be safe. This is why the government is encouraging parents to support the phased return to school, but they have confirmed that attendance is not compulsory at this time. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns then please let us know, either contact me directly, or talk to the member of staff who is keeping regular contact with you. We will keep you informed of any news or developments as soon as they happen and will give you information well in advance of any changes.
Take care and keep safe,
Executive Head Teacher