Daily Update 20th March 2020 (20.30 p.m.)
Today was one of the strangest and most emotional days in my career; I am very glad that I was so busy. I will write more in due course, but our students were simply magnificent, matched only by my colleagues. Thank you very much for your support throughout the past few days, too.
- Key Worker Guidance
Thank you very much for the quick responses to yesterday (Thursday)’s message.
These are the key principles which underpin the Government’s guidance.
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
This is the link:
- “Opening” Next Week
I repeat the information from my earlier update. We will create a separate contact group for key workers’ parents and carers.
- The guidance stresses that all students should remain at home if at all possible as this should be the safest place for them, and reduces the spread of coronavirus. The guidance actually says the provision should only be taken up “if required”.
- The provision (in all schools) is an offer to parents in key roles who are not able to find childcare, and whose children cannot be left home safely.
- School transport should run as normal at normal times. This is not in my control.
- If your child is attending College, please e-mail by 08.00 a.m. each day. We need this for safeguarding reasons, and for numbers to plan activities and food provision.
- Entrance and exit to the College will ONLY be through Reception.
- Until 08.50 students must gather in the Giraffe House area.
- This will NOT be a drop-in and collect service. Students will be here for the school day (ending 3.20 to tie in to school transport), although we can “child-mind” until 4.00 pm.
- The Canteen will be open, but offering a reduced or much reduced menu (depending on numbers).
- Lunchtime will be at 12.25 to 1.10 (as on an “early lunch” day, after lesson 3)
- Most of the site will be closed (to reduce the spread of the virus, and for safety/safeguarding). Activities will be housed in the main block, Technology block and Additional Support only. At break and lunchtime students will be permitted on the field and “plaza” areas.
- Activities will be educational, but may not be “teaching” in the normal sense. As I said, it’s emergency childcare, although we would wish to give students a decent experience !
- Students will not need to wear uniform; bringing PE basics would be helpful. Otherwise, normal College rules and expectations apply, including the smartphone ban.
- The above plans will be reviewed as necessary, and we will discuss provision with the students attending on Monday. It is likely that we will allow time for students to complete work set by their teachers.
4. Free School Meals Update
Children of key workers in receipt of FSM will be fed as normal in school next week.
- We will run a collection service from CVCC. This will be a cold packed lunch to the value of a FSM. Please e-mail by 09.30 on each day you wish to have a meal provided, stating any dietary requirements and preferences. It can be collected from Reception from 12.00 – 13.00.
- We still await details of the proposed voucher scheme, which seems the most practical solution for our catchment area.
- Guidance on Public Examinations
Earlier today (20th) the Department for Education (DfE) issued guidance. The most important thing is that it provides reassurance for students in exam years that they will not be disadvantaged. There are nonetheless a number of questions which remain, including what work we can provide for Year 11 which would be meaningful. I will write further on this next week. The link:
LINKS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
The following link is the government’s advice to schools, last updated today (16th March).
The next link is Devon County Council News Centre: Health and Wellbeing (Coronovirus advice) page:
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:
Phone: 0800 046 8687 Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Kevin Bawn, Principal