The Parent Council have been collating questions from Parents and Carers in regard to our opening in September. I hope that these answers will be useful.
The provision we are putting in place is dictated by Government guidelines, none of this is aimed at intentionally making people’s lives inconvenient and I do recognise we all have to make adjustments in all areas of our lives and am grateful to all parents and carers for their patience and support.
We are operating under very challenging circumstances and our aim is to work together to keep all members of our community safe whilst providing a meaningful education.
Here are the questions that have initially come up:
1. Will it be uniforms in September?
2. Are older children able to walk home alone?
Initially, they need to be accompanied by an adult in case on arrival at school they present any medical symptons of concern and can be taken home before entering the building. They can however walk home alone if we have paren/carer permission.
3. Will there be a breakfast club and after school provision?
Although under constant review we will not be offering the following until further notice.
4 What do parents do if they have children in lower and upper years with a 30-45minutes wait between the staggered pick ups and drop offs?
Unfortunately, in order to implement safety measures we have no facility to allow pupils in early, however parents in this position may wait in the school grounds as long as they observe social distancing.
5. Concerns about not having change of clothes for children who have personal hygiene/body odour worries especially after a pe session and having to stay in sweaty, smelly clothes all day.
PE sessions will all take place outside from September and have to adhere to strict movement guidance. Hopefully pupils only having PE once a week and therefore not keeping used kit in school will mean that issues surrounding personal hygiene will be negated compared to re-using kit during the week as is usually in place.
Female pupils who may require sanitary wear/change and any children who may have toileting accidents and need a clean up and change.
Any parent/carer who has a child with particular needs in these areas should contact the class teacher via the class email and special arrangements can be put in place.
6. What happens if you have an upset clingy child who would usually require settling into class, are teachers still allowed to cuddle/hold hands/console children?
Our teachers and support staff will always put a child’s needs first and I can assure you that this includes appropriate physical contact. Our main focus across the school is on supporting and reassuring children who will no doubt be very anxious after such a long time away.
7. Toileting - How will this be implemented if children from different classes can't mix?
This has been a challenge and the following has been put in place to mitigate risk:
8. Will lunchtimes be staggered and what about the children who are having to wait longer to eat? Especially those who have had to leave the house earlier to get siblings to school for the earlier drop offs?
9. If access to the HUB is limited what provisions are in place for children with additional needs? As well as those who may have input from outside professionals e.g speech and language therapy etc Will this be implemented by school staff instead?
10. Early collection only for pre arranged appointments, what happens if you need to pick a child up early last minute or because of an appointment for another child, parent and so will not be available for the set pick up.
We only ask for notice of any collection to ensure children can be brought to reception safely without staff or pupils compromising any of the “Bubbles”.
11. Are these temporary guidelines and if so will pre lockdown schooling resume when restrictions are lifted?
Yes, these are temporary and I expect that as things develop we will be able to change some of them. However, what the eventual timescale or how school will look in the future may not be known for some time.
12. Will things be much different in class now?
Things will look different across the school, but, sadly yes, there are a lot of guidelines to follow, for example:
13. Will children be on catch up or resume learning as if it would ordinarily for a new year?
Our first two weeks will be focused on helping children understand and deal with all we have been through, giving plenty of time to share experiences and reassure them. During this time, we will also assess every pupil to see where they are academically and if needed how we can get them all back on track.
14. What if parents aren't happy with these guidelines and do not feel a return to school in September is safe for their child. Will they be penalised for keeping children off and continuing with schooling at home until restrictions are lifted further?
From September it is once again statutory that all children of school age return to full-time education and no doubt all have seen the headlines regarding fines for parents who do not allow this to happen.
I have always found that threats are not very constructive and would urge any parent with concerns to contact the school to discuss their worries so we can support the best outcomes for each individual child.
15. Will there be further updates and a contact throughout the summer break for parents to reach out to with any further enquiries?