Letter to Parents - update on 21st May 2020
As promised, I am writing to update you on the steps we are taking to reopen the school for Year 6, Year 1 and Reception.
The school is finalising all its Risk Assessments in order that the measures required are in place to safely reopen the school.
We will of course continue to update parents as soon as we have more details and are due to hold another governing body meeting next week to discuss the results and to make a decision on the best way forward. It is my intention that I will write to parents on Friday May 29 with a further update.
In the interim period, I would like to share with you some of the findings of the survey that we have conducted among parents about the reopening of the school.
St Francis Class (13 responses) 66% No 33% Yes
I am not confident that it would be safe for my children to return to school at present. I would prefer to continue with homeschooling.
We believe it is too soon to send kids back to school, and yes we are struggling between our careers and our kid's education, but we are giving our best to succeed at both.
St Bernadette (25 responses) 60% No 40% Yes
Until a vaccine is found, the risk of catching the virus continues. Children clearly don't suffer from the virus as badly as adults so the risk to them is minor. The risk to teachers is likely to be significant and the school must assess this with them. It looks like we will be living with the virus for a long time but we will know more each day about prevention, risk and cures. The risk to society of the virus spreading in schools remains unproven, in my mind, but we are learning all the time. In September we will know a lot more and be better prepared.
I don’t feel comfortable with it. I need to know what measures have been put in place to protect the children from Corona Virus.”
Year 1 St John Bosco (20 responses) 70% No 30% Yes
For schools to reopen in the current climate, rate of infections and deaths need to continue to drop for over a longer consistent period. In addition, staff needs to be trained in spotting symptoms of the new covid-19 related Inflammatory disease that is affecting hitherto well children.
Maintenance of social distancing is near impossible for the children to follow and for the staff to enforce especially at lunch and playtime. Therefore the above two points are key when schools are reopened. Children with underlying health conditions must not be at risk.
Also a concern is the crowding in the morning and afternoon when children are dropped and picked up from school. How is social distancing enforced during these times within the school premises? Without the answers for these queries, it seems premature to throw the doors open in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
I feel this year should be scrapped and they go back in September this would give the school time to make appropriate risk assessment and make adequate safe measures to keep the kids and staff safe in September. Also the school's should be fully decontaminate ready for September. I don't see the rush in sending the kids back for just few weeks and go off again for the summer holiday. They should start in September and this would give us a better picture as to what will happen in this Covid crisis.
St David’s (22 responses) 72% No 27% Yes
We are unsure of sending our daughters back to school in June as COVID-19 is still not fully understood/controlled. Restrictions are being slowly lifted and we await the impact. Until more is known we are happy to continue with home schooling. Perhaps a reassessment for children to return following the summer holidays would be better timing.
We still feel uncomfortable about the safety of returning to the school environment
How can you possibly send kids to an enclosed environment with exposure to so many different households in a time like this?
Year 6 St Patrick’s (20 responses) 65% No 35% Yes
There is no rush considering that the year six are no longer sitting for SATs. The risk outweighs the benefits.
If it is not safe for me to return to work how is it safe for teachers and children? I don't believe that the schools have enough time to think and plan for the social distancing of managing children. Although the rate of infection is slowing down as they say no one wishes to be part of the small minority affected. Simply put, I do not children and staff safety first and not convinced that us the case here.
If we are allowed to meet only one person outside our household in the open space how safe is it for 15 children and their teachers to be in a classroom for long periods of time? With only few weeks of academic year left I don't see the point to reopen now and risk children's and school staff health. The online schooling is going well and we are happy to continue this way.
I would like to thank parents and staff for their contribution to the survey, which we will use to help inform our decisions. It is clear parents and staff still have many questions hence I am sharing the government’s latest guidance:
More information about the protective measures schools are being asked to implement to keep children and staff safe can be found here: