Good afternoon everyone, on another extremely hot day!!
I hope you are all well? I am getting a lot of emails from parents with concerns and questions about re-opening the school to more children. I understand and share all your fears. There has been a massive amount of coverage in the media this weekend. I have spoken to our Governing Body very frequently in the past few days and they share concerns. Media coverage and the latest advice from the Governments own 'Science Advisory Group' shows a very mixed view on the safety of re-opening the school for more children. In the North West the number of people with C-19 remains high compared with in the South.
At St. Margaret's we will use a very cautious approach. It will not be the same as other schools in the Prestwich area nor in Bury overall. The decisions made are based on what I/the Governors feel is safe for our children, staff and community as a whole. Please be patient and support the decisions made. I know that I cannot please everyone.
WB June 1st -The school will re-open for staff training tomorrow. Staff will work on an extremely detailed Risk Assessment and implement what comes out of this. Key worker children will be in school from June 2nd. Parents please note that at the time of writing this our PPE supplies are running very low. There is little sanitiser left, although we have plenty of soap for hand washing. We do have gloves for First Aid, but the aprons have not arrived yet.
WB June 8th -The aim is to open to Year 6 children on June 8th. Year 6 parents, please can you email school and let us know if you intend to send your child in to school. Thank you to those who have already responded. If you do not respond, then I will have to assume that your response is 'No'. Please do not just arrive with your child on the 8th. They will not have been planned for and I need to be clear with you - they will not be admitted on that day. The cut off point to tell us if you want a place is 12 noon tomorrow. This has already been explained in you in previous emails.
Key worker children -As well as the Year 6 returning, school is having an increasing number of KW and vulnerable children in school, as a result of parents needing to return to work. This increased demand will need planning and possible overspill in to another room.
WB June 22nd - the intention is to re-open the school to the youngest children. My feeling is that bringing in the youngest children in, is reckless. They cannot reliably self isolate and therefore, to re-admit them is unsafe for them and for staff. I predict that I will have my wrist firmly slapped for being honest with you.The environment they will return to will be alien to them. However, from June 22nd, following the Government Guidelines, this is our aim. By then the school will have had time to assess the impact of re-opening for Year 6 children.
I predict that the numbers of children needing a place will be small. That is your choice as a parent and will be respected by school. Staff have decisions to make about their own children as well.
Other year groups will be considered once Year 6, Reception and Year 1 have been re-admitted.
Any child attending school will need to wear their own clothes. These clothes need to be washed at the end of each day. This will be the same for staff. Children should not bring anything from home. The equipment they use in school will be provided by school and cleaned at the end of each day. It is yet unclear whether this will be enough time to clean the school well enough, so school day times will be under constant review.
School will be closed each Friday for a deep clean. On this, day staff will also need to plan work for their own year groups,especially if they are already teaching in school.
Currently, there is a quarter of school staff that will be unable to attend from 1st June and at least until 31st June, because of their own underlying health conditions or the health conditions of someone in their household.
The fact of it is, that there is so much that needs arranging: Pods, PPE (The PPE equipment has NOT YET ARRIVED, even though Mrs. Barnes ordered it some time ago. Every school in the country is ordering the same thing at the same time); lunches; toilet arrangements;outdoor play,the curriculum!!
Need I go on. Sorry for the lengthy email. However, you need to be aware what 'the new normal' looks like for now. There is a deep desire to meet with your children, and you as soon as possible. We will do it safely and well. In the meantime if you need to contact school please do so using the school email firstname.lastname@example.org