Dear Parents and Carers,
We are writing to confirm that Swiss Cottage School is closed. This was a difficult decision but the safety and wellbeing of our school community remains the paramount priority.
Over the past few days, we have highlighted the rising numbers of absences with our staff linked to illness and self-isolation guidances due to coronavirus symptoms. On Friday, 12th March that was 30 staff and increased to 31 staff yesterday. Today, we have confirmation of 58 staff absences linked to self-isolation. This measure is necessary for two reasons:
1) We need to have staff ratios that ensure safe learning for our pupils.
Currently, all of our NESTs (clusters of classes that work together) have absences.
2) We need to promote prevention measures with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The rise in numbers across London (currently confirmed cases are reported at 480 for London) and our increasing absence rates are concerning despite our efforts with preventative and proactive measures for this pandemic (https://swisscottage.camden.sch.uk/covid-19-coronavirus/)
The school’s context means we are unable to avoid hand to hand contact with our pupils. We use ‘hand over hand’ teaching and learning methodology, holds hands to proactively and safely move them through the school. We also have to support through the administration of medication, positive behaviour management strategies, personal hygiene, intimate care, feeding, and toileting support.
The Local Authority received updates from 12th March of our elevated concerns and the critical need to protect this vulnerable pupil population alongside the health of our staff teams.
We know how difficult this decision will be for you and the impact it may have on your day-to-day and for your family. We will write to you later today with our plans on supporting home learning. Our priority currently is to give you this update as quickly as possible.
Thank you for the understanding and we will be in contact with you later today via email and text with further updates. If you have any questions, please contact us on 02076818080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vijita Patel Becky Shaw Monika Gaweda Peter Sprinz Jonathan Hilliard QC
Principal Vice Principal Head of School Chair of Governors Vice Chair of Governors