Dear Parents and Carers,
The news this week is focused on the transition back to school for specific groups of pupils following the Prime Minister’s national update on Sunday evening. Every school is changing and will need to plan this carefully. Our school building will not have every pupil returning to school from 1st June 2020.
We are working carefully to plan different options to support a safe transition back to school for a specific cohort of pupils. At the heart of our planning is a focus on ensuring the safety of our pupils and staff. Today’s letter is to share that information. We are writing today to provide you with updates on the key information that we are using to shape the plans.
- The government provides required guidelines for schools. We must take each of these into account. This week included guidelines released on 11th May, 12th May, 13th May and 14th May. We anticipate more will come.
- The Local Authority is coordinating the guidances for all mainstream and special schools across Camden. This includes a focus on safety measures for staff and pupils.
- Camden and Islington Public Health provide direct guidance for us as a Camden school.
- The plans from key partners like Camden Transport.
We consider each of these for:
- Our pupils: the complexity of need, health profiles, and self-care needs
- Our staff: their union advice, health, and distance of travel because the majority of our staff live outside of Camden and use public transport
We want to take every measure possible to limit any cross-contamination across our school. We are planning on zoning our building to create clusters of classes that work within a “protected bubble”. Hygiene measures and core staffing in the protected zones will allow us to limit the risk of ‘spread’ in line with Public Health England guidelines. It will also allow us to respond if a pupil or staff member in that protected bubble develops any symptoms.
We are going to ‘pilot’ the zones across each pathway to ‘test and learn’ how we can use the zones safely for curriculum and learning. We met with the Parent Council yesterday to discuss this plan and outline the best way forward. The Local Authority is still obtaining the list of pupils who are on a shielding list or in a critically vulnerable group. As a special school, we need to ensure the plans build in safety for these groups. It would help us to have information directly from parents. Please complete this survey to support our planning: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PupilCovidSurveyMay/
The virtual school will continue to be a part of the provision until the full impact of COVID-19 is clear. We want to plan very carefully so that a set of options are able to be used at any point in the future. We will write to you next week with the proposed plans. Wishing you and your family a safe weekend.
Vijita Patel Rebecca Shaw Monika Gaweda Lucy Hall
Principal Vice Principal Head of School Leader of Safeguarding/Inclusion