23rd March 2020
Dear St Nics Families,
Please read the whole of this e-mail.
Firstly, thank you for what you are doing. Whether you are making sure that food reaches where it needs to go or you are working in the health service, we need you! Our staff team are here to provide child care if you need it.
As you read the rest of this e-mail please do not feel guilty if you have no choice but to use us. You are who we are here for. The request below is designed to make your children as safe as possible.
I am asking everyone abide by the conditions below. They are there to protect those who don't have any other option but to send your children into school. Also to protect my staff.
The Current Guidance
This weekend saw further and stricter guidance on what is meant by social distancing.
The guidance for parents from reads: 'Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.'
That same guidance also says: If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
The full guidance is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
We are doing our best but in a school setting, it isn't realistic.
For some of you, we are the only option. You can't leave your children with a partner and grandparents aren't an option for you because they are at higher risk, especially if they have underlying health conditions.
The best way to protect the children and families who need us most is to have as few children and staff in the building as possible. So I am saying to everyone, please DO NOT USE US unless you absolutely have to.
If you are sending your children to school I will be asking you to sign an agreement that confirms that:
- you are a key worker
- we are your only reasonable and safe option for child care.
- you have and are abiding by the social distancing measure requested by the government
Today we finalised the staffing plan. We will have several teams who are isolated from each other and will rotate into school to provide child care and then be working from home to provide support and home learning for those who are being home schooled.
Despite being really worried about increased risks to them and their families, my staff are ready to step up and support those of you who cannot continue to provide your vital work without us.
However, I don't want to ask my staff to take additional risk when it isn't necessary.
If you have a safer alternative to school, please use it.
Front Line NHS Staff
Before I signing off, I'd particularly like to say something to those of you who I know are working at the very front line and are saving lives already. Listening to some of your colleagues from London I know it is already exhausting for you here in Brighton and it is clearly going to get much worse in the coming weeks. I have personally found this past week very difficult and worrying but the thing that has stopped me complaining is the thought of what you are having to do and prepare for. Thank you for everything you are doing to protect our families. If there is anything else you need from us, please let us know.
Post Script: Hopefully you have seen the announcement from The Government this evening. The message is clear.
We were contacted by several people today who have decided to make alternative arrangements. If you have managed to do the same, either call school to leave a message on the answer phone or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so we know not to expect you.