School Closure Update

20th March 2020

Hanbury First School Closed until further notice from 3pm on Friday 20th March 2020

This is in line with the statement given by the Secretary of State on 18th March 2020.

However, the government is asking schools to stay open to provide care for key workers and vulnerable children. This is not a statutory requirement but all staff and governors at Hanbury feel we need to help the nation and above all those people who are caring for the sick and keeping our food supply chains moving.

The government has made it clear in its guidance (published 19 March 2020) ‘Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can safely be kept at home should be’

For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child.

It remains the case if we do not have enough staff to care for pupils safely then, subject to a risk assessment and discussion with the Chair of Governors a full closure may be necessary. We hope this will not be needed.

The government has now published its list of ‘key workers’: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision

This list is exceptionally broad and poses significant challenges for the school. The highest priority will be for families where both parents are keyworkers or where a sole parent is a key worker. It should also be noted that Government have placed a requirement on key worker parents to obtain confirmation from their employer that, based on business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

1. Pupils where both parents are a member of NHS frontline staff e.g. doctors and nurses

2. Pupils where either parent is a member of NHS frontline staff e.g. doctors and nurses

3. Pupils who have a social worker or are known to the school to be extremely vulnerable

4. Pupils where both parents are on the keyworker list

5. Pupils where one parent is on the key worker list

The priority may change due to government priorities.

Please note, the Government states: “Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.”

The fewer children making the journey to school and the fewer children in an educational setting, the lower the risk the Covid-19 virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

Staff in school also have families and need to think of their own health and their families so please can we ask you, to only request provision at school if absolutely necessary even if you are a key worker.

Families will receive an offer of a place to attend the school during the time of the school closure based on the priority list but the maximum number pupils placed on this priority list will be 20% of school population. This is based on government guidelines.

As a school we will planning a long term strategy for those pupils attending during the closure and will be based on a three-phase approach.

1. The next two weeks

2. Easter holidays

3. The Summer term.

Please can any further requests by key workers be submitted to the school office by 3pm today. The request should include your place of work and job title and a contact number for the HR department. If you have already placed a request but would now like to retract it, then again please contact the school office as soon as possible.

At this difficult time there are new challenges for all of us and from all the staff we wish that all our parents, children and families keep safe and well. We look forward to seeing you all in the near future.