19th March 2020
Arrangements for Educational provision across the Link Academy Trust during the period of Government School Closure
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you are now probably aware, last night, England's Prime minister, Boris Johnson and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that schools will be closed "until further notice". We don't yet know how long this will be. This will depend to a large extent on the effectiveness of measures to reduce the spread of the outbreak.
However, the announcement also stated that schools will, wherever possible, remain open for the supervision of children of NHS staff and other frontline workers, as well as for vulnerable children.
The Link Academy Trust is totally committed to support our community to enable these vital workers to undertake the important roles they do, without concerning themselves with any childcare difficulties. We are also dedicated to providing the very best for all children and are particularly worried about vulnerable children and families that may find this whole situation difficult to manage. We consider that we need to be there in support of the frontline services such as the NHS, police and delivery services (the definitive list of these services will be published by the Government later today) as the underlying bedrock that enables them to do their essential role in keeping us all safe.
Children and families with specific needs that we feel require the opportunity to attend will be contacted individually by the Academy Head and they will be encouraged to attend.
All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards,
The Link Academy Trust Senior Leadership Team have worked together to ensure there are a number of schools across the Trust which will be open to provide learning, support and resources for our pupils, but not all, as we too have staffing issues to manage. Obviously staffing will be an ongoing issue but we hope by one school serving more than one community we can continue this provision effectively into the future.
These schools are:
- Bearnes in Newton Abbot,
- Cheriton Bishop for the Woodleigh Hub,
- Harbertonford and Landscove for schools in the Totnes area,
- Moretonhampstead for the Moorland primaries and
- Otterton for Raleigh Schools.
These schools will be open from 8 am until 4 pm during normal term time.
We are looking at the level of provision that maybe required during the Easter Holiday period and will update parents on this towards the end of next week when we have a clearer picture of requirements.
We are happy that families decide which school is appropriate for their child/ren to attend if they fall into the categories of frontline workers. However we will be asking parents to let the school know if their child/ren will be attending as we need to ensure adequate staff are available and meals are provided.
All schools are in the process of providing Learning packs for all children in preparation for school closure on Monday next week as well as access to online learning. We have explained to our children that there is a real expectation that this learning is completed as this is term time. We are asking that you as parents support your child and if you have any difficulties you contact your class teacher who will be providing daily learning activities. Teachers will be available via email to help you get the best out of these learning opportunities and guide you through each activity, so please ask for any explanation, support or clarification.
If we do not receive any response or communication from you or your child/ren we will be contacting you to ensure you are all safe and well. We will be speaking to parents over the phone as regularly as possible again to support you and your child/ren. We want to make sure all our families are as well provided for as we possibly can be in these really difficult times.
We are looking into how to successfully provide ‘food’ support for children that currently receive free school meals. Working with our providers we expect to be able to update parents on this before the end of the week. The government is also expected to announce a scheme to support this soon.
Schools that are not operational will be undergoing ‘deep cleans’ on a rota basis as we have to be aware of the capacity of our cleaning companies.
Academy Heads will be contacting parents with school specific information before the end of the day on Friday. They will be providing families with an emergency phone number for parents to access if they are in particular difficulties.
The Improvement and Inclusion Hub have created a brilliant resource which will support family welfare, in it there are some great activities and ideas to keep you all cheerful. Please make sure you use it, my suggestion is that you ‘dip into it’ at least every day!
Despite this very difficult situation I would like to wish you all a great Easter break, let’s hope that at least the sun is shining and we can escape into the fresh air to keep spirits lifted!
CEO, The Link Academy Trust.