May 19, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Special schools have been asked to ‘work towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups’(Actions for Education and Childcare Settings to Prepare for Wider Opening from 1st June, DfE 11th May 2020). Since the issue of this guidance we have been planning on how we can safely extend the opening of Cleaswell Hill School to more pupils.
Currently the North East region’s rate of infection for Covid-19 is among the worst in the country which necessitates a very cautious approach. Although we cannot completely eliminate the risk of infection from Covid-19 we can reduce it significantly. One measure is to prioritise groups of pupils and offer part time provision to minimise the numbers of pupils and staff in school at any one time.
Following discussions with stakeholders and headteachers from across the region we have decided to initially prioritise younger pupils (Phase 1), those with complex learning difficulties (Phase 3) and those transitioning out of school (some of Phase 6). Obviously, underlying health conditions and other potential risks will prevent some of these pupils from safely accessing on-site education at this time. In order to minimise risk and provide provision for a wider range of pupils those attending will be offered part time provision. Parents and carers of these pupils are under no obligation to take up the provision offer.
If over the coming weeks the North East’s rate of infection for Covid-19 falls and the measures put in place at school enable a safe reintegration of this first cohort of pupils we will gradually increase numbers across the half term. The safety of pupils and staff is always our priority and we will only increase in numbers when it is safe to do so.
On behalf of all the staff of Cleaswell Hill School thank you for your continued support during these very challenging times.