SAST/SAT Update on schools reopening 21 May 2020
Since the government announced plans to welcome back selected year groups of students into schools from the 1st June, at the earliest, we have been working closely with headteachers and staff to look at how we can adapt school life to ensure it is as safe as possible. All our schools have continued to be open and available for the children of key workers and vulnerable children as defined by the DFE. A final decision on any national re-opening is conditional on the confirmation of the 5 key tests set by Government scheduled for 28 May.
The plans for reopening for certain groups applies to:
In the SW including Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire infection rates are low and cases have been low. Dorset Council supports schools in their plans for any return.
The planning and preparation follows national guidance. We are also working collaboratively with teaching unions and staff to support them and their safety. All our settings have completed risk assessments.
The return to school will look different with a range of arrangements. Not all schools or settings will be able to offer full time provision to the identified year groups given the guidance they have to follow around pupil numbers, safe working and also staff availability. There may be a phased approach to limit numbers on site at any one time, and we may need to stagger the school day to safeguard parents as well as students. Common features are smaller class sizes of no more than 15, limiting the amount of contact between different groups of children, increased cleaning and encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene. The re-introduction of pupils will be staggered to allow schools to prepare so schools will not necessarily be open for all year groups from 1 June but as soon as practicable.
Each school will come up with a plan that best suits their locality. Flexibility will be key, and we appreciate the support of everyone involved when facing these challenges. The detailed arrangements for each school will be communicated by the Headteacher.
We would like to reassure everyone that as we move forward, our top priority is the welfare of our students and staff, and we will do everything we can to provide the safest school environments possible.
Additional Information for Trustees and LGBs
Some other summary points
All our schools are closed. We are providing a skeleton childcare provision in most schools but only for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This is a last resort option for parents who have no alternative. The Government message about staying at home is clear. The best place for children is at home so travel and contact is minimised. We thank all those staff in our schools for all they are doing both in schools and to help provide some continued learning. We appreciate the support from parents during this most challenging of times.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Thank you to all who attended our Meet the Teacher and INSPIRE 2020 evening! The hall was packed!
Here is a link to the presentation (just in case you missed it!)