Appeal to Critical Worker Parents & Carers
Dear Critical Worker Parents and Carers,
At the time of writing, we are looking at the possibility of having 140 critical worker children and vulnerable pupils in school with class sizes of up to 25 in a bubble at any one time. This is almost 30% of our usual school population and is nearly 5 times more pupils than were regularly in school during the first lockdown in March 2020. For some children therefore, class sizes will essentially be the same as they were in December.
However, the government and health experts have told us that the new strain of the virus is spreading across the country and is 50-70% more infectious than the initial Covid 19. This means that even with reduced numbers in school, we are still highly likely to have positive cases, which will result in children and staff having to be sent home to isolate for 10 days at a time as well as the possibility of serious illness in some cases.
So far, we have been given no new guidance from the government concerning any additional control measures to put in place in order to make school Covid secure. We are therefore assuming that the current measures we have in place (keeping bubbles of up to 30 children separate across the day, increased cleaning and hand washing routines etc.) will not change.
What is different for this lockdown is that teachers are now providing remote learning content each day (including feedback to pupils) but this cannot be completed at the same time as teaching critical worker classes. I also have to consider the health needs of staff who may be unable to work in school as they are extremely vulnerable to the new strain of the virus or have already been told to shield by the NHS.
If you meet the criteria for a critical worker place, then it is our duty to provide you with one but due to the large numbers of applications and the possibility of increased risk to children and staff, I would like all of you to reconsider any possible alternative to your child taking up their critical worker place.
I would like to stress that I am only asking this in order to reduce the risk of spreading the new virus strain in our school community and prevent the likelihood of further bubble closures and isolation periods for children and staff.
I you decide that you no longer need your critical worker place please contact the school office as soon as you can.