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Westleigh Methodist Primary School

Westleigh Methodist Primary School

Corona Virus Latest Update

20.03.2020

Dear Parents,

Schools in the Acorn Trust have agreed to come together to give extra clarity and consistency around the critical worker list.

The Government’s definition of a ‘critical worker’ and a ‘vulnerable child’ is extensive and unless we prioritise, we may not be able to support the families and workers that require this help the most. We have used the Government’s official guidance as well as the Government’s official list of critical workers to put critical workers into a tiered system from Tier 1 to 4 (found further down this document.

We have prioritised school staff* within Tier 1 in the knowledge that many staff members are local to the area – this should mean that by utilising local school staff within our own schools, we will be able to support many more local families with this childcare arrangement. Although this is an agreed tiered system, we will make a final school decision based on our overall staffing capacity to identify how many tiers we can remain open to and this may change on a daily basis. This week, the school has experienced higher than normal levels of staff absence and, given the need to self-isolate for coughs and temperatures, this is likely to continue.

Whilst we recognise that many families may well have a need for childcare, we have to be very careful to restrict our provision to those children that are a priority. As such we will have a strict limit to the number of children in school each day.

Current government guidance regarding eligibility for the school care as of Monday 23rd March 2020 is that children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can potentially send their children to school if required. However, we must emphasise that the government guidance also states that “many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.” Therefore, the information you include on your form will be essential.

We are asking parents to complete the form attached and email it to admin@acorntrust.org.uk to give us information about your situations and why you require school based childcare. If you are a critical worker, we will be asking you to give us contact details including full name and telephone number of your supervisor so we can confirm that your active role is a necessity in these challenging circumstances. We may also need to get in touch with you via telephone to gain some extra clarification.

Please complete the attachment and email it to: admin@acorntrust.org.uk by 12 noon Friday 20th March; those which arrive after, may not be processed in time to be able to provide a service on Monday 23rd March. We appreciate this is a tight turn around and apologise but is due to the late release of the official information during the night.

Alternatively, if you are unable to edit the form using your device, please provide all the information contained on it and email this to us, text us on 07554421471 or simply photograph the completed handwritten form and then send to us.

We are hoping there will be provision made for Sunrise (8:00 – 9:00) and Sunset (3:15 – 6:00) to continue for the key worker / vulnerable children based on the above criteria. At this stage, we are unsure if this will include food or be free of charge or not but would appreciate you letting us know if this may be something you require.

Please note, the current guidance around self-isolation regarding symptoms of coronavirus including a temperature of over 37.8°C and/or a persistent cough are still in force. In the next few days, school leaders will have to make some incredibly difficult decisions and hold some incredibly challenging conversations with families who are understandably. We ask that you please work with us and not against us as we do this.

Thank you once again for your continued support as we all do our very best during these incredibly challenging times.

Best wishes and keep well,

Xanthe Moragrega

Headteacher