Dear Parents/ Carers,
The Government announcement on Wednesday 18 March 2020 included the request that schools close for all children except for those of key workers or those considered vulnerable. They made their official guidance, outlining the criteria for key workers and vulnerable pupils, available at around midnight last night. The guidance can be viewed HERE.
We have experienced increasingly significant levels of staff absence over this week and given the growing need for some to self-isolate, this is highly likely to continue. Whilst we recognise that many families may have a need for childcare, we have to be very careful to restrict our provision to those children described in the official guidance. The guidance states ‘if it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.’
In line with Government advice on social distancing and working from home we fully support and encourage this for all of our staff and students.
Rest assured we have worked incredibly hard over the last week to secure a strong online working provision for all pupils. Our staff have planned effective and creative learning opportunities for all pupils to access online across the coming weeks of school closure. Staff will be updating resources routinely over the period of closure.
If, however, you do fit the description of a key worker and/or are a parent of a vulnerable pupil, we ask you to only consider the school’s childcare provision if you have no appropriate alternative, as we want to limit the number of children coming into contact with each other as much as possible. Safeguarding is paramount and thus to ensure we can plan quickly and effectively to meet this childcare need with sufficient staff, we need some information from you.
We appreciate that this is a tight turn around and apologise for any undue stress or inconvenience this may cause, however you will appreciate this will support our decisions regarding staffing from Monday.
We understand that, if you are in one of these categories, you are also likely to want to keep your child at home whilst schools are closed. If that is the case then that absence will of course be authorised.
Even if you are in one of the categories and your child does attend school, guidance for isolation remains: If someone in your family has a high temperature or a new persistent cough, your family should self-isolate for 14 days.
Childcare Provision – Secondary Phase
We strongly suggest that children remain off school where at all possible in the first instance. If however, you have no other option to enable you to support your critical working pattern and require childcare provision the following details are applicable;
As you know we are proud to be part of the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust and thus we are able to work flexibly and creatively in offering the pupils of Gosport the best possible provision. With that in mind, we will be operating a single site provision for all children of key workers in the secondary schools of the GFM. This childcare provision will be based at our Brune Park site.
In order to safeguard children, it will be required that every parent who accesses this provision accompanies their child and signs them in each morning in the Brune Park reception at 8.35am. They will also need to be collected and signed out each day at 3.10pm.
Please note that all pupils will be expected to attend in their full school uniform. Usual school rules for behaviour will apply and the use of mobile phones will not be permitted. We also ask that pupils follow strict social distancing guidelines, as per Government guidance. Pupils will also require a packed lunch for the day as we will be unable to operate the kitchen facilities within the school during this period.
As you may be aware the Government has yet to outline the process for students who are entitled to Free School Meals. We are awaiting further information from the Government about this provision for those entitled to FSM. We can assure you we are working tirelessly to address this issue and will update relevant parents as soon as we are able.
We thank you for your understanding, flexibility and support in these unprecedented times.
The GFM Executive Leadership Team