The Enquire Learning Trust
19th March 2020
Re: Coronavirus update – school closures to most pupils
Thanks for your patience in these uncertain and challenging times. We have considered the latest Government guidance to schools, parents and carers in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency and we are writing to give you clarity about what is to be expected from Monday 23rd March 2020.
Schools are being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the COVID-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home
All Enquire Learning Trust academies will be closed to most pupils to further limit the spread of COVID-19 and help to keep our community safe.
This means that wherever possible, pupils should remain at home. It is essential that we minimise contact over the coming weeks to give the country a better chance of controlling the virus. Schools across the country are under huge pressure as staff fall ill or need to self-isolate. This means that we will need to keep our operation under review, and it is possible that the school will need to close if we do not have enough staff to keep pupils safe. We will keep you updated in relation to this.
Please keep in mind that you should not rely on childcare from those in the stringent social distancing categories such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying health conditions or are over 70 years of age.
The government recognises that some of your roles will be crucial in enabling the country to continue to function safely and effectively. If you work in one of the roles listed at the end of this letter, you will qualify as a critical worker.
Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required.
However, this does not mean you should automatically send your child to school. Remember, our aim is to minimise contact and limit the spread of the virus so that there is less chance of you or your child being infected. If you are a critical worker and can keep your child at home, then it is important you do so.
If you feel you qualify as a critical worker and wish your child to attend school, then we would ask that you provide proof of employment (and shift pattern where appropriate) either today or Monday morning when you bring your child to school. Alternatively, this could be sent to the school by email.
Please be aware that we may need to check the providence of this information.
For critical workers who work part time, we would expect your child to attend school on a part time basis. Again, we would ask that you share with us details of your hours of work should you wish your child to attend school.
Vulnerable pupils. A child is counted as vulnerable if they have a social worker or have an education, health and care plan (EHCP). We will expect vulnerable pupils to attend school as normal.
We recognise that this will mean that the majority of our pupils will not be attending school from Monday 23rd March until further notice. Please ensure that children are not mixing socially during their time away from school in a way that can continue to spread the virus.
We hope this gives you more clarity when making your decision around whether your child can or should be attending school on Monday.
We will maintain regular contact with you to keep you updated of any further information. This will include details around school meals, safeguarding arrangements and the curriculum we will provide for those pupils who will be attending school.
We recognise the challenges that the virus presents to us all and look forward to working together to reduce the risks to our children and families.
Chief Executive Officer of Enquire Learning Trust