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Date: 19.03.2020

Re: School Closure due to Coronavirus

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Prime Minister has today announced that Schools in England will close from this Friday until further notice for all pupils except children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

In Line with this announcement, the School will close from Friday 20th March until the start of Summer term on Tuesday 21st April.

The interests of our children, our families and our communities are at the centre of everything we do, and this is particularly important during these challenging times.

With this in mind, we wanted to reach out and reassure you that we are putting in place a number of robust measures designed to make health and safety a top priority whilst still enabling our pupils to continue to make progress with their education.

Boris Johnson and the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said the measures would apply for all pupils except children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

According to the DfE there is no set definition of vulnerable pupils however we will continue as a Special School for pupils with SEND to provide care and support whilst also protecting all members of our school community from Coronavirus.

There is no set definition for “vulnerable pupils”. This is because it’s a very subjective area, and there are many different reasons why a child could be classed as vulnerable (depending on particular contexts).

It is therefore up to the Headteacher and Governors of our School to use their judgement in deciding whether we consider a pupil to be vulnerable and also the steps we will take to ensure education is the number one priority for our young people.

The children’s commissioner produced a report in June 2017 that lists the categories of children they consider “vulnerable”.

It says that vulnerable children include those who:

  • Are carers for parents/other adults and/or siblings
  • Live in the ‘looked after’ sector
  • Have a child protection plan
  • Do not speak English as their home language
  • Are involved in crime

Serenity School has pupils who fit one or more of the above categories and we must support them at this time because this is where they feel safe and happy. However, we must also consider all members of the school community during this period of the Coronavirus outbreak and the peak of the virus that is approaching us at rapid pace. It would be unfair to continue to ask staff to teach and be in close contact with children and other adults during this peak period. This has a considerable knock on affect that can take impact in their own homes, with family members such as those particularly sick with ongoing medical conditions, and the elderly.

The School will close from Friday 20th March until the start of Summer term on Tuesday 21st April. The reasons for the full closure are to protect both pupils and staff from the virus and to continue to practice the advice of Public Health England with social distancing and other specific measures to contain and limit the spread of the virus.

Mr Johnson has stated that he does not know when schools will re-open and the Government will not commit to a specific date at this time for re-opening of schools across England. We will continue to take advice from the regulatory government bodies but also commit to a phased re-opening should the Government continue to keep schools closed beyond April 21st, 2020.

If the Government delays further the re-opening of schools, we will offer a reduced and limited timetable from April 21st to support pupils and families with SEND and/or families who are key workers. This will include lessons, 1-1 support, life coaching and therapy.

The school office manager Mrs Tejeda will be in contact with each of you nearer the time to schedule the timetable and allocate pupils to groups should you wish to avail of this additional support and respite. Please bear in mind that this offer is subject to our own staff’s health and personal wellbeing in light on the ongoing Coronavirus.

In the meantime, leaders at the school are available to help, guide and support.

If you have a general enquiry please send your questions through to [email protected] and someone will get back with 48hrs.

If your message relates to SEND, school placements and other related matters please contact our SENDCo and Deputy Headteacher Mrs Ayisi at [email protected]

From our previous letter addressed to you on Monday 16th March regarding Coronavirus, the following contingency plan measures are in place so that your son continues to learn and make progress at home;

1. Bespoke learning packs sent home for completion each day of school closure. Please ensure all work is completed in full and on time for return to school. Teachers will mark all work upon receipt.

2. The Office Manager will continue to support with morning calls for CLA and Child Protection pupils

3. The Headteacher and SENDCo are available during this period for support and advice

Next steps from the Government;

Boris Johnson has not ruled out giving London stricter lockdown measures as the capital suffers an accelerated spread of the coronavirus. It is therefore absolutely essential that your child remains at home during periods when they would otherwise be at school. We also recommend that you pay close attention to lockdown and curfews in the coming days so that your child stays safe.

We have not experienced a pandemic like this in recent times, however together we will pull through and the children at our School will continue to develop and grow in the months and years ahead.

Yours Sincerely

Jude Onye

Headteacher

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