As you are all aware, like many other schools across the country, Foreland Fields School has remained open throughout this challenging period to pupils whose parents are critical workers and some other vulnerable pupils. The announcement from the Government regarding schools possibly re-opening on June 1st therefore has led to us implementing a ‘growth plan’ in order to safely accommodate more children and young people in school. In line with Government guidance for Special Schools, we are not focusing on specific year groups.
The emphasis on any planning is the health and safety of our pupils and staff, ensuring we are able to limit interactions between people to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
As part of this planning, it is vital that we understand the demand for pupils to be in school and the nursery. Parents will not be fined for deciding not to send their child into school or nursery. If parents feel it is safer for their child to remain at home, we will fully support this decision. Home learning for pupils not attending will continue and we are looking at ways of further developing virtual learning opportunities for our pupils. More details as we have them.
You will soon be contacted by a member of the leadership team who will discuss whether you would like a place for your child after the half-term break. Unfortunately, given our likely staffing capacity, we realise that we will not be in a position to prioritise everyone, and we will have to make some very difficult decisions, in collaboration with other professionals, e.g. Social Services and the Local Authority. We will not be able to offer full time provision to any pupils other than those of critical workers who we will continue to support throughout this crisis period. In the majority of cases, the most we may be able to offer any pupil considered for placement is 1 or 2 days a week or, in the case of the nursery, 1 or 2 sessions. Please note, we will be looking at ‘growing’ this provision so it may not be possible to offer a place for your child immediately after the break. We will confirm attendance arrangements with you in due course.
You will all appreciate the need for us to implement and encourage social distancing across the school, however this is virtually impossible with the vast majority of our pupils. We therefore need to look at reducing the amount of interactions across the school day in order to reduce the chance of spreading the virus. The more pupils and staff we have on site the higher the risk of transmission of the virus therefore, class sizes will be dramatically reduced and movement in and around the school will be restricted.
We will not be using any of our shared areas and pupils will be limited to contact with the same group of pupils and staff. It will not be possible to place children in their regular class groups due to the reduction in staff.
We are also planning a number of safety measures regarding the start and end of the school day. This will involve the staggering of start and end times, and new arrangements for the dropping off and picking up of children. These measures are in place to limit the number of people on the school site at any one time and also to cut down on interactions. Details of these new operating procedures will be forwarded once they are finalised.
Can I also remind all parents/carers that they should not be coming onto the school grounds unless they are dropping off or picking up their child. They should not be coming in to reception to speak to staff unless through prior agreement. Should any parents have any questions or queries, please either email email@example.com or telephone the school on the number above.
Lastly, June 1st is a Staff Training Day. We will be using this day to plan for extending our provision plus ensuring all staff are aware of the procedures and protocols for safe operation. School will therefore be closed to all pupils on Monday 1st June.