On behalf of myself, our staff and governors may I wish you all a very Happy New Year. We hope that with the on-going COVID vaccine rollout programme that at some point in the coming year we will all be able to enjoy a more normal way of life.
However, you will be aware that we are still in extremely difficult circumstances due to an increasing number of Covid cases, both nationally and locally, along with lack of clarity or guidance from local and national government about how schools can respond to the increase in cases, along with the new variant of the virus. We have also been informed that support staff are following advice from their unions and professional organisations due to concerns raised over the current situation and that they will not be available to teach full key worker groups within school.
The LA have released this statement:
Given the confusion over Government communication and guidance to schools, we believe the Secretary of State must provide clear and consistent information to schools in tier 4 that includes a move to remote learning for all pupils (excluding vulnerable children and those of key workers) and a return to school on 18th January. In the absence of changes to Government guidance DCC is clear that any decision on school closure should be made by school leaders and their Governing Bodies based on individual risk assessments at local level. Risk assessments continue to be updated and need to take account of a range of factors including local infection rates, availability of staff as well as the school’s physical environment and organisation. DCC will continue to support all of our schools based on established locally derived information along with national guidance and best practice.
As we are now in a position where we are unable to re-open fully to all children, we have made the decision to move to remote learning so that we can protect everyone in our whole school community. Due to the timings involved in receiving this information the School Leadership and Governing body have needed to make decisions rapidly. We do appreciate that receiving this news at such short notice may cause disruption to some families, and for this we can only apologise.