Issue 16 9th September 2020
We are in a new world and not one that any of us would choose. As an Academy we have put together steps that we hope will ensure the safety of all children but I feel that some parents would benefit from the reasons behind these measures being explained further.
Children are being kept in class bubbles, “operational bubbles” (i.e. all Y4/5 children for lunch, playtime and entry and egress) and Key Stage bubbles for use with after and before school. The reason behind this is that if child X, who is in Y2, confirms positive for Covid-19, I will need to provide information for who the child has been in contact with (children and staff). With the systems we have in place I will be able to confidently track the child’s class, operational bubble and Key Stage bubble if necessary. This could be numbers of contacts ranging from 30 (class) to 90 (operational) to 180 (Key stage). Should the local Director of Public Health insist that anyone in contact with child X needs to isolate, or be tested, these numbers are far fewer than if all children are allowed to have mixed together – for instance by coming onto the playground altogether on a morning. The Academy has 379 pupils on roll which could in that event be affected.
This is why we are currently staggering class bubbles/operational bubbles into the Academy. This is never going to be easy and I can assure you a lot of time and thought has been put into the current setup (discussions have involved staff, parents and wider community).
We need parents to help us make the plans work.
- Please do not turn up before your child’s entry time to the Academy. We appreciate that some families have multiple drop offs but we ask that you wait at the opposite side to the school gates.
- If you are waiting please use the opposite side of the road and not around the school gates.
- Consider the drop off time. Each bubble has around 10 mines to get into school so if you have a child who needs dropping off for an 8.45 start and another at 9.00 come at 8.55 which will make it easier for yourselves and everyone else.
- Please consider how many parents need to bring a child to school. Space is at a premium and at this point with the situation we are in, two parents for one child is not feasible.
- When your child has come into the school gates please move completely away from the school. Issues are being caused by groups of parents remaining, blocking the paths, to have conversations. This is not acceptable.
The Academy have always maintained that children younger than Year 4 should be collected by an appropriate adult. Children in Year 4, 5 and 6 are able to come/go from school dependent on parental wishes. We do not usually watch these children out of school and hand over to parents as many do not choose to have children in these age groups collected (it is parental choice – but this is why children in these year groups, who walk to and from school, are the only age groups allowed to bring mobile phones into school).
Parents are allowed to come onto the Academy premises at home time but only at the allotted times and through the allotted gates. We need parents to comply with these directions to improve collection and try to maintain safeguarding. Yesterday, I witnessed parents who were collecting children at 3.15 waiting outside the school gates from 2.45 – this is not acceptable. We also kindly request that parents, as responsible adults, act as role models and ensure they are complying with the social distancing rules when collecting children.
The start of term is always challenging, as an Academy we are revising the process daily, and need to ensure we adhere to Government regulations. We have had an HSE spot check today to ensure our compliance and we are pleased to inform parents that they feel our processes are exemplary. We welcome your comments, and ask you to be patient and co-operative with the new way of working.