Coronavirus, COVID-19: Risk of partial school closure increases
We are committed to staying open for as long as possible or until the government tells us to close. Our staff team shares this ambition. However, 27 members of staff from our team of 102, including 10 teachers are not able to work. This means we are just about able to remain fully open because we have reorganised teaching arrangements today.
School staff who are pregnant or have an underlying chronic medical condition have been sent home based on the government's expectations and advice from Ealing Council:
School staff who are vulnerable stayed at home very reluctantly, several having cried. According to current guidance, these colleagues, may not be able to return to work for several months.
Rebecca Preston, Chair of Governors; Clare Haines, Deputy Head and I met this morning. We recognise the importance of school staying open to give pupils a sense of stability and normality whilst enabling parents to continue to work. We know that many of our parents hold vital roles, including in the NHS. We want to avoid full closure for as long as possible. We agreed that we might need to partially close the school to some pupils while the rest of the school remains open. If needed, we will close parts of the school by whole age group.
Our ability to operate is reduced because we have fewer members of staff able to work. There are fewer agency (supply) staff because they may also be vulnerable adults and are no longer working. To remain open:
- we will combine classes in each age group because pupil numbers are falling each day and to allow us to redeploy teachers to other age groups;
- pupils may not be taught by their usual teacher;
- our curriculum offer will be reduced or adjusted, usual timetables are suspended;
- there is greater emphasis on repeating and over-learning rather than new content so that absent pupils do not get left behind;
- we may close to age group(s) at short-notice. Where families have children in more than one age group, some pupils may be in school while others are not.
Any decision to close the school, partially or fully, is not taken lightly. I seek views and options from Mrs Haines and other senior leaders before making a recommendation to the local authority and Rebecca Preston to close.
We will publish any closure on Latest News, Twitter (@fieldingprimary), by email to your contact email address(es) and by notification to MyChildAtSchool (MCAS) app on your mobile phone.
Parents should prepare contingency plans for day-care in the event that the school closes or partially closes at short-notice.