Emergency Childcare Provision
Thank you for your patience during what has been one of the most extraordinary weeks we have experienced at Witton.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the current situation, and the Government guidance that we are following. We must all remember that the purpose of the school closure is to prevent the spread of the infection, particularly by reducing the number of pupils and staff who have contact with each other. This is why the Government has stated that “if children can safely stay at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. Schools remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.”
As you will know, we have been making preparations to close the school of this afternoon. The school is now an Emergency Childcare Provision but ONLY for eligible children.
At Witton, eligible children are:
- Those who have an EHCP plan
- Those are supported by social care
- Looked After Children
- Young carers
- Children whose parents work in critical roles as defined within the Government guidance issued on 20th March.
We are in the process of contacting all parents / carers of eligible children to confirm arrangements from Monday. In some cases we may contact you to gather further information around your specific role, or ask you to evidence this. The guidance sates that “If workers think they fall within the critical categories they should confirm with their employer that … their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.” Please note that the Headteacher reserves the right to refuse any pupil’s provision in school if we cannot meet their needs or guarantee their safety.
It is important that you understand that our staffing levels in school are also affected. We will be operating on vastly lower staffing levels than usual, and must ensure we keep pupil numbers low in order to make sure we can continue operate to support those children who really need us the most.
Please remember that for all other children, school remains closed. Unfortunately if children who are not eligible for childcare arrive at school during this period of closure, they will be asked to return home and their parents / carers will be contacted. Learning activities have been posted on our school website under the ‘Children’ heading, School Closure Learning and then each year group. Teachers will be adding tasks each week, so keep checking in for updates. We ask that parents supervise online tasks carefully and support their child to either mark their own work or do this alongside them. Answers are available for all activities (but no peeking until you have attempted the tasks!)
If you believe your child is eligible for childcare and you have NOT heard from us, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you at our earliest opportunity. Could I ask for your help in only ringing the school if it is urgent, as we anticipate being very busy on Monday, and will not have the usual levels of staff in the office.
Finally, can I thank you for the many supportive and positive emails that we have received from parents to date, they are much appreciated. I thank you for your continuing support and will continue to keep you updated with information should there be any changes.