26th May 2020
Dear parents and carers,
I apologise for the delay in corresponding to you regarding the potential expansion of provision from 1 June 2020. We have been waiting, for some time, for clarification from the Local Authority on their position in relation to social distancing in classrooms. This information is vital to our expansion plans.
The Local Authority has confirmed today that their expectation is that 2 metre social distancing is in place in all classrooms. This, coupled with increasing demand for Critical Worker places (which government guidance gives priority to), has a huge impact on our ability to extend our provision, as the academy’s classrooms are already undersized compared to the majority of schools.
Most classrooms in the academy can only accommodate 6 children under these criteria. We are therefore not in a position to welcome all year 6 children back into school during this phase of the government’s plans to reopen schools.
For Critical Worker families (including those of year 6 children), you should continue to book your places as you have done via the firstname.lastname@example.org email. If you received a text today confirming your provision you need take no further action, other than continuing to update us as to changes to your needs. This provision will continue, but from 1 June will be located in a number of classrooms. We will text you with the details of which entrance your child should use from 1 June.
For families of children in year 6 who do not currently access the childcare provision, we will offer as many places as we can. We have been advised to use an admission criteria to support us in allocating places. We will therefore initially use a needs based approach. For all other children, we will continue to provide remote learning.
If you would like your child to be considered for a place, please email email@example.com stating your child’s name, whether a family member is a Critical Worker and the details of your needs by midday Thursday. From this point we will begin to allocate places, with an aim to begin welcoming the children in from 1 June. We will inform you on Friday whether your child has a place and, if they do, details of their start / end time etc. We understand that this timescale is incredibly tight, but the only alternative open to us is to delay starting the year 6 provision, which we do not wish to do.
I understand the frustrations that you must be feeling, we share these as we had been making plans to potentially accommodate more children, but the safety and well-being of children, staff and parents must take priority and the LA is clear in how we should interpret government guidance to do this.
Mr Steve Carr