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COVID-19: Latest Update For Parents & Carers 23.03.20

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23 March 2020

Dear Parents and Carer

I hope that all of you enjoyed a little bit of peace over the weekend within all the turbulence of the current times. These are indeed unprecedented times and circumstances in which we all are being severely tested.

Just a few days ago my publicly stated intent was for Ravenscliffe to stay open as long as the Government ask us to and providing our staffing levels ensured a reasonable level of safety for all of our community. It is clear that this intent is being tested by the pace and severity of the Coronavirus outbreak which is causing a very real threat to life within our own families, our own school community and the wider Calderdale based community.

The Prime Minister spoke again Sunday 22 March in the early evening:

…tomorrow you should not send your child to school unless you have been identified as a key worker. And more generally in the view of the way people have responded over the last few days to the measures we have set out I want to say a bit more about how we interact outdoors.You have to stay two metres apart; you have to follow the social distancing advice.”

After multiple conversations last night with Senior Leadership Team and Governors and senior advisers from Calderdale Council, we have decided to take the following action:

  1. We are now instructing all medically vulnerable students to stay at home for the foreseeable future and certainly in the first instance, until the end of the projected Easter holidays.
  2. We will now identify those students who we see as vulnerable for other factors and will continue to try to provide a schooling provision for them provided we can staff it.
  3. We will continue to try to offer a place for the children of our community who’s parents are identified as ‘key workers’ by the Government. NB - if only one parent is a key worker we are asking for you to withdraw your child from tomorrow

If your child does not fit into the categories above, we are now reluctantly asking/instructing you to keep them at home for the sake of everyone.

Please understand that in the current crisis there is no entitlement to a place in school for pupil’s attending Ravenscliffe today and into the foreseeable future. We have a crystal clear mandate to assess the risk for each individual student where parents would still like them to attend and then decide if we can actually offer this. Today our team will contact the ever reducing number of students who are coming into Ravenscliffe. We will be reducing our numbers on site from Tuesday 24TH March unless further Government guidance changes that decision.

I would like to thank the many parents who have already decided to withdraw their child from school, either as a ‘shielding’ action to try and reduce their own risk of catching the virus or as a decision based on the greater good of other more vulnerable students in our community. We appreciate and support your decision and sacrifice. Thank you! We are all being asked to show sacrifice at this time.

In order to try to maintain social distancing within school we will continue to try to keep both of our sites open. Social distancing is a difficult concept for many of our students to understand. So we need to naturally promote this as much as possible.

Symptoms

Government guidance changed last Thursday. Please read and apply the new instructions detailed below.

If a student or staff member have symptoms they must STAY AT HOME and self-isolate.

It is apparent that we ALL now MUST adopt and apply the Governments’s advice on social distancing. We cannot do that with the volume of students we anticipate coming into school on Monday. Lives within our own community are at risk if we don’t commit TOGETHER to reducing social contact.

As ever, I would like to place on record my gratitude for the efforts of our whole community within this crisis. We hope you feel love and support. We all must hope and pray for the arrival of a better day. Until then as a school we will continue to try to support you even if that means the support has to come from a distance, via phone, email, text or letter.

I heard a message about peace above panic at the weekend. It is an appropriate message for the time. My hope for you all is that you can navigate these difficult times without resorting to panic.

We send you all our love and support and very best wishes.

Martin and all at Ravenscliffe

NB -We understand that you may have your own concerns and questions. If they are urgent please contact the school on 01422 358621. We will attempt to get back to you as soon as reasonably possible