Happy New Year to you all. I hope you managed to enjoy some special time with loved ones this holiday despite the restrictions.
Over the past fortnight, we have monitored the advice from public health regarding their guidance relating to the reopening of schools. Many of you would have seen the news explaining that unions were advising their members not to attend school and you may have seen that some York schools have had to adjust their opening plans. We were pleased that all of the staff team at Westfield returned to school, chose not to evoke section 44 and have spent some time today reviewing our school systems.
We received an update from City of York this morning and sent a text to you all to explain that school would reopen as usual tomorrow. Within hours, we saw that Boris Johnson was making an announcement this evening at 8pm. Therefore, I have delayed sending this email until now and apologise for a late correspondence.
The government has announced another national lockdown and has closed schools to all but children of key workers and vulnerable learners. We are saddened with the late timing of this announcement but please be reassured that we will do all that we can to support our school community during this time. Staff will begin to make contact with you all tomorrow regarding remote learning and we hope that you will be patient during the next few days as we communicate our plans moving forward.
If you know you have critical worker status (link below) please send your children to school at the normal time tomorrow through their normal entrance and we will complete the relevant checks. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
We will require evidence from your employer of this status but we appreciate this may take you a few days.
Any children who attended school as a vulnerable learner during the last lockdown, you are welcome to send your children tomorrow. Maria Eland & Jane Benton will make contact with any other families who might be eligible throughout the day.
There will be many parents who will need to process this information and there will several questions around Free School Meals, wraparound care etc. It is too late to answer all of these questions this evening but please be reassured we will communicate tomorrow and we welcome questions via email.
For clarify, Breakfast Club and Afterschool are now part of school provision so parents who require wraparound care can be reassured this will be available.
We are disappointed with the announcement this evening, however, we survived this in March, children returned in September and had an incredibly positive Autumn term. We will work together to make this work for our school community in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your continued support.
From all the staff at Westfield