Update for parents and carers on our plan for the next three weeks
School will close for most students (exceptions to be clarified by government) on Friday afternoon until further notice.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Following the Government announcement yesterday, we have to close, as a College, at the end of school tomorrow for most students until further notice.
The only exceptions to this will be for the children of key workers and, according to Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, vulnerable students which include students with Education and Health Care Plans and students who are engaging with Social Services. We are still awaiting a clear definition of this category, however, we would also include families undertaking the Team around the Family process with us. In addition, if you feel your child is vulnerable please make this clear on the form in the email which will follow. We will also be contacting some individual families just to check if they need any additional support.
We are also still awaiting a full and definitive list from the Government as to exactly who key workers are, however the Governement mentioned yesterday that this would include "NHS staff, Police and delivery drivers" though we suspect this list will grow to include education workers, military personal and others so please bear with us on this until we receive an update. This has caused this email to be delayed.
We really appreciate that this closure will create many difficulties for some families, however, we need to do this in order to delay the spread of the infection so that our NHS does not get overwhelmed, which will be particularly dangerous for the more vulnerable people within our community. It is therefore vital that children stay indoors and, wherever possible, do not stay with elderly people or those with underlying health conditions who are far more vulnerable.
I am afraid the Government guidelines only allow for students in the categories of children of key workers and vulnerable students which includes those students with Education Health Care Plans and are engaged with Social Services to come into College. To support those students we have put together a plan which will allow us to continue their education and support. As we understand it students in these categories do not have to come into school while everyone else is working at home, however, if you can't find anyone to supervise their on-line learning, and for instance this may stop you going to work in the NHS, or put your child in an unsafe situation, then we will be here for as long as possible to help you and your family.
This programme will include lessons enabling your child to keep up to date with the work being set through Class Charts and regular contact with the pastoral team to check on their welfare and provide emotional support. For these students we are aiming to keep our REACH centre open for as long as possible and counsellors will continue to provide support wherever possible.
For children currently in receipt of Free School Meals we will continue to offer packed lunches from our catering van or onsite for students attending College. As a matter of urgency we are also looking at the possibility of working with either Tesco and/or Lidl to provide vouchers for these families if we have to close completely. Sanitary products will also be available for all students from Main Reception if required.
You will shortly receive an email from us which I would ask you to read carefully. If you know of other parents and carers who perhaps do not have email access then please make them aware of this email. It will outline how you can contact us to book a place in our provision for the next three weeks. It is important that if you fulfil the categories as set out and need a place that you reply immediately so that we can ensure that we have enough staff on site to supervise students safely while also ensuring staff do not have unnecessary social contact. If you do not fit into the categories please do not respond. If you believe your child may be vulnerable due to circumstances beyond these categories please indicate this on the form.
Many thanks for your continued support in these worrying and difficult times for us all.
Andrew Davis - Principal Exmouth Community College