Dear Parents and Carers,                                                                       19.3.20

This is the hardest letter I have ever written. Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.

As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs. The Secretary of State is clear: this is an entirely different role for schools and school staff. It is primarily about care, not education.

What if only one parent is a key worker?

If one parent is a key worker, the government will expect the other parent to have their child at home. Single parents who are key workers will be entitled to a school place. Please respect that school has to follow these guidelines and we kindly ask you not to put the school in a difficult position. We have waited today for further guidance from the Department for Education regarding a definitive list of who key workers are. If you are eligible for child care, could you check the DfE’s Key Worker eligibility list (when it is officially released) then complete the attached form and return to school by email or in person.

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. Children should not be left with elderly relatives or others in groups that are vulnerable to contracting coronavirus.

Staffing
School can only open if it is safe to do so. If there are not enough staff to open school, even in this new limited role, we will not be able to. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, who have managed to keep our school open in challenging circumstances this week since the government announced measures to self-isolate a large proportion of society. They have shown great resilience and willingness to continue to put the children and community first despite challenging circumstances. The governors are very proud of the staff and pupils for their diligence, attitude and teamwork.

What education will we provide for your child at home?

Your child’s learning is important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn.
Class work will be uploaded onto our school website at www.eastboldonjuniors.co.uk
This is to ensure your children have the tools to continue to learn. We will message you all on ParentMail once the work has been uploaded. The initial upload will contain work from the 23rd March until the Easter Break. At the end of the Easter break, further uploads will take place in two week intervals with ParentMail messages notifying you when they have been uploaded. It is important that parents check that their ParentMail account is up to date. We are unable to update your accounts for you.

 

When will East Boldon Juniors reopen?

We will post on our school website and ParentMail our re-opening date once we receive permission from the authorities. If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via office@eastboldonjuniors.co.uk and a member of staff will be in touch as soon as is practicably possible and remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.

The Future

Please note that this is a national closure so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone.
We are in unprecedented times. We, as a school, are in as much uncertainty as you at home. We will get through this. Whatever the future holds, we must aim for providing the best for our children. I wish I could make reassurances. I wish I could give you a date when normality will return, and our children can return to school. You know I can’t. I want to wish you and your families all the very best. Look after yourselves, your loved ones and stay safe.

We send all our love from the whole team here at East Boldon Junior School.

Kind regards,

Tim Shenton

Head Teacher

East Boldon Junior School