31st March 2020
Dear Parents and carers,
I thought I would catch up with you all after the first full week of this very surreal time!
As you know, we are still open for children of critical workers, who are desperately needed to deliver front line services, and for those most vulnerable.
However, for the vast majority of you, contact has been via our private Facebook group (Henham and Ugley School Information), emails or telephone conversations. We all miss you and love hearing about what you have been up to!
- Hopefully, you are all getting to grips with the materials posted on the school website https://henhamugley.essex.sch.uk/children/classes/ but please remember, we are still here for you. The contact information for each teacher is on the individual class pages, or of course you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Additionally, The School Nurse Team is still available on: 0300 247 0122 There will be a school nurse available during the holidays as well, if you call the team and there is not a nurse available on that day then a message can be left and they will get back to you. There are also family support workers linked to the service who will be able to talk to parents.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all the staff for their fantastic efforts to support the new home learning approach. The work that has gone on behind the scenes by them has been phenomenal. I know this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the school community, and it has been a real boost to receive the emails of thanks from many of you.
- You may already be aware that over the weekend, the Coronavirus Bill was passed by the House of Lords. As a result of this, two guidance documents were updated, guidance on vulnerable children and young people: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people;
- Updated guidance on school closures: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing
- plus a new one on Safeguarding was released late on Friday night: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers
The message regarding children of critical workers, continues to be the same: ‘We have asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response – who absolutely need to attend…
It is important to underline that schools, all childcare settings (including early years settings, childminders and providers of childcare for school-age children), colleges and other educational establishments, remain safe places for children. But 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, and all childcare providers, 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.’
- At the moment, we are establishing the uptake for provision during the Easter holidays, and I would ask that if you are a critical worker, you contact me to confirm if you continue to need the provision. If you haven’t used the provision before, but think you may need to, you will need to complete a key worker form and liaise directly with me – If you turn up at school without first being approved, you will be turned away.
I must stress again, that this provision puts my own staff and their families at risk, and therefore the guidance needs to be followed: children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Thank you for your support with this.
- We have today received the much awaited guidance regarding supporting those families that are in receipt of free school meals, and once the school sign up details have been received, I will be contacting those families directly about the changes and information moving forward. If your child isn’t currently in receipt of free school meals and you think that you may be eligible, please follow the link: https://www.essex.gov.uk/free-school-meals
- We have also received further guidance from County, for those families who have children with Special Educational Needs, and this is attached to the newsletter. If you have any questions or concerns after reading this, please do contact myself email@example.com or Mrs Cowell firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are in the process of finalising our year end, and therefore I am requesting that any outstanding monies are settled via Scopay. At this current time, I appreciate and understand how difficult it has been for many families financially. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please do get in contact with me in confidence, otherwise I will assume you have the means to settle your accounts. Thank you.
As always, any updated information received from the DfE or the Director of Education at Essex County Council, will be uploaded onto the school website.
Please, please do get in touch if there is anything we can help you with.
With my continued best wishes,