Planning and Advice for Parents Regarding Partial Opening of St George's and Closure for Vast Majority of Pupils

Dear families, following last night's government's announcement, we will be in full planning mode today. The uncertainty regarding school closures has caused anxiety for families. What we now know is that from the end of the school day on Friday the 20th March the school will be closed to the majority of pupils. This is an 'indefinite measure'. We have no indication how long this will last for. This measure has been put in place to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) virus. I am meeting with the Senior Leadership Team at 9.30am this morning to look at how we move forwards. Throughout this crisis we have applied the mantra that we act in a 'calm and informed' manner. That will be the case over the next few days. We recognise the pressure this will put on many families. School closures mean self-isolation and social distancing. It is not an extended holiday. We will be trying to ensure that your children are emotionally supported and reassured today. School is a place of safety and familiarity for children. We know that they will be confused and anxious. Message is that we are all ok at St George's. Closing school is a helpful step, so our communities are able to care better for those who are unwell. We will be sending home some resources and ideas to support your child's learning at home. We will be using the year group web pages of the website to ensure that we communicate with you and provide daily learning advice. If your child is currently off school, we will make the learning packs available on Friday afternoon from the school offices. The government have asked us to remain partially open for the most vulnerable pupils and for the families of key workers. That will include 'wrap around' Dragon Club provision and holiday club provision for children eligible under government guidance. In the spirit of the government's request to support key workers that offer will be open from nursery to year 6. At present we are unclear about the scope of that provision. The government have said that they will be providing clear guidance today on their expectations for schools, what roles 'key workers' will constitute and their plans for feeding free school meals children. As soon as we have this information we will be contacting families with further details about the school offer, who is eligible and how you will register for this. There is no need to contact us before then. As a staff team we are devastated to be closing. We come to work every day to provide the best care and opportunities for your children. Be reassured that we will continue working to ensure that we look after the families at St George's and planning to re-open at the earliest opportunity that we can safely educate and care for your pupils.

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