SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND WILL CLOSE FROM FRIDAY 20TH MARCH 2020
I want to say a big thank you to all the Stroud schools who have kept going to keep children in education recently. I’ve spoken to a number it headteachers, teachers & governors so I know it’s been tough at times. They have been amazing.
I am pleased schools are being given time to prepare the children and parents to close too.
A headteacher raised the need to avoid sudden closure with me the other day as she wanted to be able to prepare properly and I flagged it with the DfE team.
Many people have been telling me for weeks that schools should close. I continue to believe it was right to wait. It may seem fun (secondary school children were asking me to ask Boris to close their school last week!!) but will not be easy for many families and children to have them home for long periods. Parents will be kept fully informed about return dates etc.
Schools will still be allowing attendance from children of key workers - such as NHS staff - to ensure public services can continue to operate.
The most vulnerable pupils - those who have a social worker or Education Health Care (EHC) Plan - will also be supported in schools.
The Government is working with nurseries and private schools to comply with the new advice, including providing financial support.
I personally think we need much more information about this section, ie what key workers are included as there are so many key jobs needed to get us through this challenge. I have not seen the SoS Gavin Williamson’s statement yet though so that will probably help.
Exams will not take place in May and June. The Prime Minister has assured students they will still receive qualifications. More details will follow.
FREE SCHOOL MEALS
The Government will be making food vouchers available to those eligible for free school meals.
Children should not be left with older grandparents or older relatives who may be particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus.
It is important at this stage that everyone continues to follow the up-to-date guidance and be vigilant about regular hand washing.
There should be self-isolation for the whole household if anyone shows symptoms. People should work from home where possible and ensure social distancing if you do have to go out.
As always, if you are in need of any support, get in touch with my office. We have spent a full day on coronavirus enquiries today.