Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to you following the Government’s recent announcement that has signalled the start of a phased return of children into school. As I am sure you have seen in the news, IF certain public health conditions are met, then junior schools have been asked to re-open from the 1st June for all Year 6 pupils. I would now like to provide some more clarity as to what this will mean for us at North Lakes.
I want to emphasise again that North Lakes School will only reopen when we are confident that it is safe for children, staff and families. We will continue to work closely with Cumbria LA and our local cluster of schools, while taking careful account of government and union advice.
CHILDREN OF KEY WORKERS IN CHILDCARE
For our children of all year groups that currently access childcare provision at the Penrith Hub
(Brunswick), childcare provision will move to North Lakes and will be available from the 1st June.
PUPILS NOT CURRENTLY IN CHILDCARE
The government has given a date of 1st June for schools to start to re-open. It is important to stress that this is a start date to begin a process, and not a deadline - for a number of reasons:
Guidance and advice is evolving very rapidly, and is likely to change again. As things stand, it has been proposed that Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 return to primary school before other year groups. No date has been set to indicate when Years 3, 4 & 5 may begin to return to school.
The current guidance from the DfE clearly states that primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff. This means at this stage that social distancing will not be guaranteed. The DfE say that in deciding to bring more children back to schools, they are taking this into account. They say that schools should work through a hierarchy of measures:
Indications at present under the guidance are that children would be supervised in isolated groups of no more than 15 children, with an adult, and would not be allowed to interact with other children or adults during the day.
This is a very challenging and unusual situation for us all, and while we begin to plan and seek further advice I am sure you will agree that the safety of our children and all members of our school community are paramount.
We are not going to be pressurising anyone to send their children to school, and we appreciate that you know your children and your family circumstances best. It is important that parents make their own informed decisions as to what is right for them at this extraordinary time.
We will be continuing to provide home learning for all children that are not attending school after half term, so that no-one is disadvantaged by their decision to keep children at home due to health, personal choice or family circumstances.
We will be taking care over our preparations to ensure that the school is as safe as possible. I would like to reassure you that we are, and will be, following the DfE guidance very closely and putting measures into place to create the safest school environment that we can in the circumstances.
Measures will include Health & Safety checks of the building and the water system and a thorough deep clean. We will also be undertaking a full and comprehensive Risk Assessment provided by the County Council and our Health & Safety Consultants.
We will keep you informed as to developments over the coming days, and things are likely to change. We may soon be asking parents of Year 6 pupils to let us know whether they intend to be sending their child to school from the 1st of June, or as soon as possible thereafter, so that initial plans for staffing and organisation can be put in place. I am sure that you will now need some time to consider this for yourselves.
We would like to thank you for your continuous support and goodwill, and the work you are doing in helping your child learn from home. We are also grateful to all of the volunteer staff and leaders in the Brunswick Childcare Hub who have provided support for many families over recent weeks.
With very best wishes, Stay safe,