Daily Update 19th March 2020 (10.30 a.m.)
- Key Worker Guidance
The Government finally issued guidance close to midnight last night. This is the link:
There has been much confusion about this. It is NOT compulsory for key workers’ children to attend next week. It is NOT an option for children to dip in and out of. It is an emergency childcare provision, and if students can be left at home safely because there is adequate care or they are old and responsible enough, this is what must happen. The whole point is to reduce the spread of transmission. Therefore, schools are “open” but literally want to support the minimum number of students so that we have to deploy the minimum level of staff, and expose the minimum number of people to risk.
It is imperative to our safe operation of this provision next week that we have a firm and accurate picture of likely numbers. If you are in a key worker category, and need to take advantage of the emergency provision next week, please respond immediately to yesterday’s message.
- “Opening” Next Week
At the moment, this is the plan. It will be tweaked but not fundamentally changed!
- 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. 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), 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 may evolve as necessary, but we have to start somewhere!
Free School Meals Latest
We still await clarification on the voucher scheme. However, it is likely that we will operate a mixed system. Children of key workers may be in receipt of FSM, and can be fed as normal in school next week. It is possible that the Canteen can run a FSM collection service from CVCC, again with e-mail ordering in the morning; more details in later updates. And for others who are not key workers’ children and cannot collect a meal, we will offer vouchers. Once we know the details.
LINKS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
The following link is the government’s advice to schools, last updated on 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)
Should you have any specific queries regarding Covid-19 and Clyst Vale, please call the main switchboard on 01392-461407 and ask for Mrs Ann Hopkins (College Manager).
Thank you for your support and understanding at a very challenging and rapidly-changing time. We are doing everything we can to provide some normality for students and to help calm fears.
Kevin Bawn, Principal