Letter from Mr Perkins
4th January 2021
Monday 4th January 2021
Dear parents & carers,
START OF SPRING TERM 2021
Happy new year to you all; I hope that you are keeping safe and well, and you were able to enjoy a restful Christmas period.
I know how worrying the current situation is, particularly with the new COVID-19 variant and Suffolk being moved to tier 4 by the Government. Please be assured that we are continuing to do everything possible to keep our pupils, families and staff safe. Even though we had no positive cases of COVID-19 amongst staff or pupils in school last term, and managed to remain fully open at all times, we have once again reviewed our risk assessment (available on our website) and we will be as vigilant as ever in order to protect everyone.
The overwhelming majority of adults supported the measures that we introduced last term, for which we are extremely grateful. However, these are now more important than ever, and so we must insist that:
• All adults must wear a face covering on the school site during pick up and drop off times (with the exception of those with written evidence of a medical exemption) – if you are unable to support this, please make arrangements for another adult to drop off and pick up your child;
• Only one adult may accompany the children on the school site (ideally the same person each time, which must be someone from your family, support bubble or childcare bubble – this must be the same family each time, i.e. you cannot change your support or childcare bubble unless you first isolate for 10 days);
• Families must not congregate inside the school grounds during pick up and drop off times, or outside the front of the school site;
• All pupils must be dropped off and picked up at their allotted time (i.e. no earlier or later – please also ensure that you remain with the parents of your child’s class at all times);
• You must not enter the school site if you have been told to self-isolate or if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, I would like to ask you to provide us with the following important information:
• If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 during the Christmas period, or has been told to selfisolate (even if their period of self-isolation has now ended);
• If your financial circumstances change (we will be happy to help you to apply for Free School Meals if you are now eligible, which would also entitle you to other benefits – please see the attached leaflet for more information – and access to financial and other support, e.g. if your child has to self-isolate, during school holidays etc.);
• If your child’s ability to access online learning at home changes (we may be able to support you with this, e.g. by lending you a laptop if your child has to self-isolate, and your child may be eligible to attend school in the event of further local or national restrictions).
You may be aware that secondary school staff and pupils will be receiving weekly COVID-19 tests when they return on 18th January. There is currently no information from the Government regarding COVID-19 testing for primary school staff or pupils; however, the current situation is likely to change in the coming days and weeks, so we will of course keep you updated with all of the latest information as we receive it.
We understand the genuine anxieties many of you have, and you may be considering whether or not you should send your children to school. Although Suffolk is in tier 4, it is not one of the areas with the highest COVID-19 transmission rates, and the Government expects us to continue to fully open. Guidance from Suffolk County Council makes it clear that children should be in school, and keeping your child at home will not be authorised; however, they have also stated that they will not issue fixed penalty notice fines in the vast majority of cases. Furthermore, as much as we will continue to encourage good attendance, we understand that both staff and pupils will need to err on the side of caution when it comes to attending school whilst not feeling well and may need to remain at home when they would normally otherwise come in.
If you decide not to send your child into school when they are not clinically extremely vulnerable, self-isolating or unwell, we will not be providing additional home learning. Teachers will continue to upload some lesson resources to Tapestry and eSchools, and websites that we have previously used such as BBC Bitesize, Oak Academy and Times Table Rock Stars are also available; however, teachers will be fully focussed on learning in class and therefore will not be able to set or mark additional home learning.
Finally, I would like to once again pay tribute to our staff, who continue to work with their usual commitment and dedication to make sure that your children are kept safe and provided with the best possible education, despite the anxieties that they too will undoubtedly be feeling.
If you have any questions regarding the above or any of our procedures, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Take care and stay safe
Mr D Perkins