This afternoon our Prime Minister announced changes to England’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. On Monday in Parliament he has assured us that a document giving further detail will be shared with ministers. As your Headteacher I have no more information than you do so await the promised documents to understand fully the details outlined at the weekend.
In the meantime, at Drake and Little Pirates, we will continue to make provision for all our families with two teams of staff one on site for families of critical workers and vulnerable children who cannot be looked after at home. At the point of closure, we had to redesign the delivery of an entire curriculum from birth to 11 years. Teachers, leaders and support staff have undertaken an unprecedented piece of work. A virtual staff room and professional development room were also set in place. The leadership team is on site every day to support both teams. Also on site is a rotating team of site staff, cleaners and cooks, ensuring the school is clean and pupils have a hot meal. Each day every piece of equipment used must be disinfected or set aside for 36-72 hours, every door handle, table surface, book, toy and window opener is cleaned over and over again all through the day. On site staff have been worried for themselves and for their families, but we have ensured a safe and happy place for the children who need us to be open. The pastoral team meets weekly and reviews all vulnerable families and parents who call us with worries or concerns. Every day phone calls are made to families supporting them through these difficult times. Safeguarding has remained a key focus – our safeguarding and health and safety policies have been updated to reflect the changing context. No one is untouched by this.
As part of our work we have been exploring ways to safely reopen for pupils. We are acutely aware the impact of closure has had for pupils of all ages. The leadership team and the governing body are in regular contact with both local and national bodies, however we have not been given any guidance about how we should proceed to reopen. When our school closed at Drake and Little Pirates we had to design a virtual learning world in a matter of days on our own, what is in place currently protects the NHS and Saves Lives. Any change will have to continue to do the same.