URGENT regarding Partial Closure

JUST IN:I have just, this second, received a message from Somerset County Council Assistant Director of Education:
“In order for schools to take account of this rapidly changing situation, we are recommending that all schools in Somerset open for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils tomorrow, and continue to do so as long as it takes for the way forward to be confirmed for all schools.”

Therefore, it is with huge regret – and real frustration – that I am contacting you so late in the evening to announce we can only be accepting children of key workers and those classed as vulnerable pupils for the foreseeable future. As you may be aware, today the whole teaching staff spent all day preparing for a whole-school opening as we were told to do and as I asked of them. This means we really, honestly, need time to change our plans to incorporate this new request. I can only apologise to you all for this and for what I am about to ask of all families:

I am asking EVERY family: please, if possible, keep your child home, tomorrow Tuesday 5th, so we can fully prepare both our opening of school for key groups and ALSO a comprehensive online package for all those staying at home. IF you require a place in school tomorrow as a matter of urgency, as you have no other option, either email me sgillan@educ.somerset.gov.uk tonight, or ring school from 7:45am, tomorrow. IF you think you fall into a key worker category or your child is classed as a vulnerable pupil, and you require a place moving forwards, please contact us DURING tomorrow on our school number. Again, as in March, there will be limited numbers that we can accommodate in school due to our space and social distancing parameters, so if there IS someone at home who can look after your child, we urge you to take this option and leave a space for those in critical need.

By TOMORROW afternoon, we will have a suite of online sessions planned for your children to engage with on a DAILY basis when at home. We have learned from the first lockdown experience and I plan to move heaven and earth to ensure we hit the ground running and not leave ANY family feeling isolated at home or that the learning experience is vastly different. One idea is to for teachers leading regular, live sessions from in the classrooms with the pupils and those at home, so the social experience will be greatly improved.

So, to reiterate: PLEASE if possible stay home tomorrow and allow us some time to generate our lists, timetables, rotas and online planning (this idea will absolutely include Reception pupils for phonics etc.)
Contact me on email or ring the office from 7:45am should you need a space tomorrow as a matter of URGENCY.
Contact school during the day (after 9am would be ideal) if you need a space as a key worker. (we will also be contacting you!).
Make sure we have your most up to date email addresses for online session log in details (which will all be checked tomorrow)
Look out for further updates tomorrow through email / text / social media.
I hope this has covered everything at the moment and I can only apologise for the challenge of my request and the lateness of the appeal.
Please email me with any comments.

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