18th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to you in unprecedented circumstances as Head teacher of our fantastic school. As a Head teacher I have very much understood the national desire for schools to stay open, until the information from our community I received today. I understand that many parents in our school community have roles and jobs which are easier to fulfil while your children are in school.
We shared by letter plans just yesterday, to reduce the ongoing risks to our children and staff in order to keep our school open in these very challenging circumstances. However, despite making these contingency plans, our Prime Minister made further announcements last night which were wide ranging.
This has put myself as Head teacher in what is the most challenging position of my entire career given the unpresented circumstances.
Amongst the new recommendations and measures announced last night were the following.
- All members of a household stay isolated together for 14 days if anyone has a cough or a temperature.
- Everyone should stop all unnecessary contact with others and all unnecessary travel. Everyone should work from home where possible.
- Everyone should avoid all venues such as pubs, clubs, theatres and restaurants.
- All those with underlying health conditions, all those who are over 70 and all those who are pregnant should take the utmost care and should avoid all unnecessary contact.
We have received information from our school community over the last few days that is changing continually.
A proportion of our school families have now declared that they are isolating and staying at home for 14 days, due to at least one member of their household displaying possible symptoms. A number of staff have also declared that they are either personally in one of the at risk categories, a member of their household is in one of the at risk categories, or they are responsible for the care of someone in one of these categories.
As Head teacher I cannot and will not instruct those staff who have come to me in good faith, that are directly affected by the new recommendations/guidance, to continue to physically come into school. Consequently, I cannot run our school safely without all the staff affected by the new announcements of these at risk groups of people.
Therefore, it is with regret, but with care for all members of our school community, that I feel compelled to stop face to face learning for our children at the end of our school day today. Please be assured that we will remain in contact with parents via text message and also through our school website with any updates during the period that school is closed. Pupils can also access educational webpages via the ‘Pupil resources and useful links’ tab on our school website.
Mr A M Duffy