Dear Parents and Carers,
Weekly update 12th June
This week we have welcomed back a total of 256 children to our two schools. Once again the corridors are filled with the quiet hum of concentration and outside children laugh and play, free to forget their fears and worries. They are back where they belong and overjoyed to be here.
We are preparing to welcome more children back later this term, but before we do, I would like to clarify the key guidance from the government about how to keep children safe in Primary Schools. This is because there is a lot of scaremongering in the media currently about the risks of returning to school. So please find below several relevant extracts from the DFE guidance which can be read in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings
‘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.’
Class or (bubble sizes):
‘For primary schools, classes should normally be split in half, with no more than 15 pupils per small group and one teacher (and, if needed, a teaching assistant).
While in general groups should be kept apart, brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor, is low risk.’
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
‘Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended…Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.
Face coverings (or any form of medical mask unless instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 meters from others.’
In addition to these measures specifically for schools, the DFE guidance reiterates that repeated handwashing for 20 seconds is essential, as is good respiratory hygiene and regular thorough cleaning of surfaces and resources. There is a link to a video above to show you what this looks like in practice. Please share it with your child.
Our experience tells us school is safe. In the 12 weeks, we have been open at Marish for key worker and vulnerable pupils and since 1st June for EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6, several staff members have presented with Co-vid 19 symptoms been isolated and tested and all results have been negative. School is certainly safer for children than being taken to the shops and other public places by their parents.
Marish Academy Trust is compliant with all of this guidance. We are also doing what we do best- thinking creatively how to get past the problems and get more children back into school safely, as soon as possible. If you’ve sent you child/children back already, please ensure they attend every school day, because we are planning lessons to meet their needs and one of these is continuity of routine.
As always if you would like to discuss any of this with a member of staff, please call or email in the usual way and we will be delighted to help you. Stay Alert and Keep Safe by returning your children to school. Hope to see more of you soon.