Update: School Closure

by swisscottage / March 20th, 2020 / in Archive 2019/20 / 0 Comments

Dear Parents and Carer,

The government announced school closures on the evening of 18th March during the Prime Minister’s update to Parliament. At the same time, the government announced interim measures for the most vulnerable and the children of keyworkers. The government released the guidance for this earlier today.

The school is currently closed due to high staff absences. We are working carefully to plan how we can support the government guidelines alongside the reduced staffing. We need your help to inform our planning.

  1. The key principle within the guidance recommends that children should stay at home if this is possible. It also states that measures should be taken at home to meet ‘social distancing’.
  2. The following underlying health conditions are listed in the Public Health England guidance for socially isolating.

We are going to call every family now to find out your views:

a)      Do you want your child to come to school?

b)      Are you are a keyworker?

What do you need to know?

1)      The school cannot provide gloves or face masks to staff. There are no face masks available. There is limited antibacterial gel. Gloves are a limited resource and used for specific pupils who require support with hygiene, personal care, and gastro feeds.

2)      The school cannot meet ‘social distancing’ recommendations from Public Health England.

3)      Staff with any of the underlying health conditions will not be able to support the plans.

4)      Pupils are not guaranteed to be with a qualified teacher or their current class team.

5)      The school curriculum and current timetable will not be able to be delivered.

6)      The majority of our staff live outside of the area and commute to work from beyond central London with public transport (tubes and overground trains).

7)      Other schools may need to place their pupils at this school with our staff.

A member of the Senior Leadership Team will call you as a matter of urgency. We cannot confirm what the offer will be until we have a clear picture.



Vijita Patel – Principal



Keyworkers List from Department for Education (evidence may be required by the Local Authority)

“If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

Health and social care This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare This includes childcare, support and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery, as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above, they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.”


Click here to download a printable version of this letter.

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