PLANS FOR THE RE-OPENING OF SCHOOL
I would like to update you on our plans for re-opening the school following the collation of interest from families, discussions with staff, and consultation with the Chair of Governors. This is a difficult and delicate situation; we are taking account of national and local advice and guidance, the needs of families, and the latest data on the virus in Cumbria and Eden, our primary focus is our duty of care to children and staff. No matter how much we want to see the children, we simply cannot go back to school until we are sure that it is safe, for everyone, to do so. We have submitted Risk Assessments to the Health and Safety Team at Cumbria Local Authority, and we are awaiting their guidance and approval. We are taking on board Government advice, and adhering to the message that a return to school is dependent on the five conditions set by the government, being met – including the provision of a working “test, track and trace” programme in our locality. All of this means that we cannot set any plans in stone, and so we have instead prepared a “provisional plan for return” as follows:
Phase One: (Monday 1st June – Friday 5th June) During this period, returning staff will be working in school to prepare areas, and create ‘safe bubbles’, according to our initial risk assessments. We will be testing and further developing our plans, and staff training can be carried out and the school environment can be further adapted as needed, before phase two.
Phase Two: (provisionally from Tuesday 9th June, but subject to change) Considering numbers of children, staff involved and the requirements of our Risk Assessments, we feel that we have the ability to safely open for three days per week: probably Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We will be able to accommodate the children of critical workers, the children of families in need of additional support, and the low numbers of children who requested to return from Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. (If there is a change to numbers of children or staff, we will have to review the situation, and the provision that we are able to offer safely at our school, may change or cease.)
Provision will be in two “bubbles”, with their own bathrooms and entrances. Each bubble will be staffed with designated adults, tight restrictions on movement and a strong emphasis on cleaning and hygiene.
These bubble groups will remain intact until further notice, and will not mix with any other groups, to reduce the risk of cross contamination. We will have staggered start and finish times, and staggered playtimes. Children who are staying all day, will have packed lunches (school or homemade) within their classrooms.
Learning activities for the children will mirror that, that is sent to children who are continuing with their ‘homelearning’ within their family setting.
Phase Three and beyond
As things stand, there are no plans for further children to be re-admitted to school, and we await further national guidance around this to be able to plan any ‘Phase Three and beyond’. Over the next week, I will be finalising the risk assessments that will reflect the Cumbria LA guidance as well as matching the requirements of our staff unions. Once the classrooms are prepared for Phase Two and the building thoroughly cleaned once again, I will share precise details for your child(ren) with you regarding timings, drop off and collection information, lunch plans and Health and Safety requirements. We would like to thank you again for your ongoing support and goodwill, we will keep in touch after half term and we look forward to hopefully seeing your children soon!
With very best wishes, stay safe,