Dear parents and carers,
I hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. I wanted to give you an update on the current situation at NJS for next week.
As we continue to work our way through this unique and often challenging time, thank you once again for all your support. We really do appreciate your understanding as we, day by day, work through what is best for our children.
Their wellbeing, continued safety and good health is always our priority and will continue to be so – always.
I explained previously, any extension of our current provision will be reviewed and monitored on a daily basis as we move forward with caution in line with guidance provided by the government and Doncaster’s lead health professionals led by Dr Rupert Suckling. Some of you may not be aware but Doctor Suckling has been providing more local intelligence on COVID19 and its impact on our locality and it was Suckling’s intelligence that helped the Mayor shape her guidance in the letter we shared previously with yourselves.
This week, Dr Suckling’s advice has been that, although we need to proceed with caution, it is now safer to consider extending our schools provision. With that in mind, from Monday 15th June the position nationally will be that wider opening of schools can go ahead for Year 6, where it is deemed safe. Across XP Trust we are following the advice of Doncaster Local Authority (Led by Dr Suckling) who have been working alongside Public Health England (PHE).
We are hereby delighted to say that we will be able to offer wider provision in school to those families in Year 6 that requested a place moving forwards until further notice. All parents who requested a place received a letter via email yesterday evening so if you feel you should have received an email and have not, please check your spam or junk mail boxes.
Unfortunately, despite this feeling of optimism shared in Dr Sucklings press release this week, due to the operational constraints of social distancing and staffing, we are unable to offer a full week of education for children in Y6. Moving forward, our priority has to remain supporting Key Worker and vulnerable children. We also still have to manage our online curriculum as the majority of children will not be returning and therefore still need support. However, this will at least provide a step towards normal school life for your child before summer.
The decision to extend our provision from Monday – is based on a belief that ‘on balance’ this is the right decision – where risk assessments are in place and a safe environment has been created at each school. The latest available data from Dr Suckling, the Local Authority, Department for Education and PHE has been analysed and cross referenced as part of the decision process. This included looking at Track and Trace, rate of infections and the number of current cases in Doncaster.
Dr Rupert Suckling stated in his letter to all Headteachers this week that:
“In summary, although we are not out of the woods, the risk of COVID-19 in Doncaster has reduced enough for us to manage it in a measured and cautious way.”
As I said earlier, this is indeed a time for optimism but it is not a time for complacency. There has been a lot of planning amongst school staff and we have taken all fair and reasonable measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your children as we extend our offer of provision. The physical spaces around the site present their own challenges but the additional measures we have taken to isolate the children into smaller protective bubbles will make things as safe as possible.
I will provide more detail on the measures we are taking to keep everyone safe but please remember to promote social distancing yourselves when picking up and dropping off your children as this would be very much appreciated.
Last, but not least – we want to reassure you once again that we are here to listen to any concerns or questions you may have. We are following all the guidance provided by Dr Suckling and Public Health England. If you are worried or need any clarification of any aspect of this, or any other update please just get in touch.
Stay safe and well and have a great weekend.