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Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils

Following on from our last update yesterday we now have guidance from the Government as to which pupils we will continue to provide care for from next week. As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers and children with certain needs, as identified below.

The guidance clearly states that parents are to:

keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend…the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society. Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.'

Hales Valley Trust want to do all we can to support the country during these unprecedented times. Our staff are committed to providing care for as many children as needed, whilst also looking after their own health and their own families. The steps the Government have taken in closing schools is to minimise social contact in an attempt to stop the virus spreading. We would therefore ask that parents only send children to school if both parents are classed as a key worker and are not able to keep their child safe at home. The key worker needs to be involved with critical work directly related to the crisis.

Key workers include people working in:

· Health and social care

· Education and childcare

· Key public services

· Local and national government

· Food and other necessary goods

· Public safety and national security

· Transport

· Utilities, communication and financial services

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

DfE recommends that any children with an underlying medical condition should be exercising social distancing and therefore not be in school.

If you think that you or your child falls into one of the categories above and you cannot make any other arrangements to keep your child home from school, then please complete the form on Parentmail and return to school by 2.30pm today. This will enable us to try to organise the child care provision from Monday onwards. The school may ask for evidence that parents fall into the key worker category.

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.

We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it is far from ideal, but we will continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops. We appreciate your continued patience with this situation as we deal with this ever-changing situation.

Please remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.

If you have any concerns about the safeguarding of a child, then please contact the following numbers:

· MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) – 0300 555 0050

· MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) Out of Hours – 0300 555 8574

· Lapal Designated Safeguarding Leaders (Mrs Turner, Miss Tolley, Mrs Atkinson) – 07950 356769

We would like to thank you for the kind words and messages that we have received so far – many of you clearly appreciate the hard work of the staff in trying to keep everything as calm as possible for the children and the school community. Thank you again for your continued support.

Joanna Turner Jeannette Mackinney

Headteacher CEO

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