11th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope this letter finds you all safe and well. I have been very proud of our school community and how everyone is working together during this unprecedented time. Our regular phone calls home have shown that everyone is doing all they can to follow ‘The Whitehouse Way’ of courage, perseverance, responsibility and reflection.
No doubt you will have seen the broadcast from Mr Johnson last night when he announced the proposal that schools may reopen from June 1st for some children. He explained this would initially be for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. He also explained how social distancing rules would need to be observed in the work place and in schools. As I am sure you appreciate, social distancing in a school presents many challenges for young children in ensuring they are always 2 metres apart. Therefore, when we put together a plan for returning we will need to consider the size of the classrooms and the need to move tables, stagger lunches and break times, organise safe drop off zones for children at school etc. This may mean that we have to reduce class sizes and some children may only be able to attend school for some days a week. In addition, we will need to look very carefully at staffing ratios as we have a number of staff members who are self isolating/shielding. Please can I ask that you continue to be patient as we work our way through these new challenges.
This afternoon, the Government will be sharing a more detailed plan as to how this will be done. From this we will ascertain whether the guidelines are sufficiently robust to ensure the children and staff are safe in school at all times. The safety of the whole community is our priority. Once we have assurances from the Government, our senior team will meet to discuss our next steps and what plans we can put in place to begin to open the school safely.
I hope you understand that at present we cannot offer any further guidance but I can reassure you that we will not return to school until we have full confidence that our school will be safe for all.
Thank you for your continued support,
Mrs A Hall