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COVID-19 Updates for parents

School Reopening Tuesday 1st September 2020

Attendance expectations from September

 

In March when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s not attending school.

 

Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, well-being and wider development.

 

Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school.

 

The Government has now made school attendance mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

 

Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating

We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. You should note however that:

  • a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19). This will be inline with Public Health guidance.
  • shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding
  • if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent (see below).
  • some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 - ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people.

 

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will offer access to remote education through our website and workbooks. Schools will monitor engagement with this activity.

 

Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.

 

Pupils and families who are anxious about return to school

All other pupils must attend school. We will always be understanding of the potential concerns of pupils, parents and households who may be reluctant or anxious about returning. We will put the right support in place to address this. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

 

If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, please come and discuss your concerns with us and we will do everything we can to provide reassurance of the measures we are putting in place to reduce the risk in school. Compulsory school age children must be in school unless a statutory reason applies (for example, the pupil has been granted a leave of absence, is unable to attend because of sickness, is absent for a necessary religious observance etc).

Our Response to the pandemic and school closure

From the week beginning 23rd March 2020, our school has provided bespoke on-line learning for all year groups (F1-Y6) via the school website as well as platforms such as PurpleMash, Timestables Rockstars and IXL. At it's peak, engagement with at least one of our online provision areas was approximately 81%. Teachers provided weekly Spelling, Writing, Reading and Maths provision. This was supported by 'Afternoon Curriculum Projects' covering the remainder of the curriculum. Online engagement was monitored by SMT and pupils who showed low levels of engagement were contacted by their class teachers. Pupils who were unable to access online provision at any point during the school closure were provided with high quality text books to support their home learning. During the Summer term, teachers contacted pupils through weekly phone calls to support learning. Pupils were able to contact their classmates and teachers through blogs on PurpleMash. All learning, where possible, continued to reflect the content that children would have studied in school.

 

Our SENCo remained in contact with pupils identified with special educational needs to support where needed. Guidance and support from the Behaviour Support Team, Autism Team, Behaviour Emotional Mental health service and other provides has been disseminated via our website and twitter, or through our SENCo.

 

Our ADSL and DSLs have coordinated our safeguarding measures. From the week beginning 23rd March, identified pupils were contacted weekly by a member of staff and any actions taken accordingly. Pupils who we have struggled to make contact with have received home visits by our attendance officer or a DSL.  Our Admin staff have coordinated free school meal vouchers to ensure we continue to support our community in every way we can.

 

During the partial reopening, Westglade was open to pupils in Year 1, 6 and Reception. We continued to provide places for pupils whose parents meet the key worker criteria. All staff were working in school in either a teaching, admin, leadership/DSL or designated first aid capacity. Full time staff were in school for 3 days and part time staff for 2. Those days when staff were not in school, they were working from home. When at home, staff were preparing learning for their bubbles, setting remote learning for pupils not in school, completing safeguarding measures, preparing summer 'keep up' provision and prepping for next year.

The local authority provided guidance to Nottingham City schools during the pandemic. Below are documents which give details of some of this.

Risk Assessments

These documents detail the measures and steps we are taking as a school in order to provide a safe learning environment. They are updated regularly as the situation changes so check back regularly.

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