Dear Parents and Carers,
I received the Government guidance just before 11pm and having had a few productive working hours planning arrangements, I can confirm that we will be able to open on Wednesday 6th January 2021 for key workers and vulnerable children of Nursery to Year 6. We will be offering child care between the hours of 9am and 3.15pm, our normal school hours. Nursery will be able to attend during our normal nursery hours (Monday and Tuesday 9-3.15, Wednesday 9.00-11.30am. We will not be able to offer breakfast club during the lockdown period.
A google form will be sent out during the morning for parents of key workers to complete, applying for a place if they need one. I ask that you complete this as quickly as possible and you will be contacted later in the day to confirm your place. Please do not telephone school as we will need to keep the lines clear to make outgoing calls and staff will be busy helping with this.
Please only ask for a place if it is a necessity. The Government have been clear that they need to use every lever at their disposal to reduce all contacts outside households wherever possible. Limiting attendance is about reducing the number of contacts that all of us have with people in other households. If there is another adult in your household that can care for your child, this should be your first option. Childcare bubbles are also still allowed in this lockdown (If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble. This allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare). A current list of key workers is listed at the bottom of this email.
Children attending school will be accessing and completing the online learning that is planned for the whole class in school with the support of school staff. As last time, we will be flexible with hours and you should only use us on the days and for the hours that you are working.
Free School Meals
During the period of national lockdown, we will continue to provide meal options for all children who are in school. Meals will be available free of charge to all infant pupils and pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals who are in school. Those parents who normally pay will be expected to do so as normal. Children attending school will also have the option to bring a packed lunch.
The Government have also instructed that we will continue to provide food parcels for pupils who are eligible for benefits related free school meals who are not attending school. Guidance on free school meals has been produced by the Lead Association for Catering in Education, Public Health England and the Department for Education. It sets out some general principles for putting together a food parcel which will allow parents and carers to prepare simple and healthy lunches for their children at home across the week. Food parcels must be distributed in line with guidance on social distancing at all times. As soon as the kitchen have the bags ready we will inform families and make arrangements for them to collect their parcels ensuring social distancing measures are in place. The Government have not made arrangements for vouchers this time.
There is an expectation by the Government that children that are at home should continue their learning using remote education. Our staff are now well prepared for this, having had training and we have systems in place to facilitate this. We will begin this on Wednesday. The Government expects schools to:
We need every parents' support in making the home learning a success and ensuring our children engage with this. We will be contacting those parents who may need resources to help them access the online learning.
We understand this is a very concerning time and you will have many questions. We ask that you bear with us while we put the necessary plans in place. I thank you again for your continued support that we receive through these difficult times. We at Berkeley Primary are still here to support our children, families and wider community.
Anna Cvijetic (Headteacher)
List of Critical workers
Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.
Health and social care
This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
Education and childcare
Key public services
Local and national government
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:
Food and other necessary goods
This includes those involved in food:
Public safety and national security
Transport and border
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass and those constructing or supporting the operation of critical transport and border infrastructure through which supply chains pass.
Utilities, communication and financial services