September Reopening – Parental Handbook and Attendance Information
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the school.
Included in this communication is a parental handbook Eaton Bank Academy Parent Handbook – Coronavirus 2020 which will hopefully answer all relevant questions about the return to school process.
After the unprecedented circumstances of the last few months, we are very much looking forward to welcoming back all our students on Wednesday 2nd September. Students must be in school by 8.45am, in full uniform, with the equipment specified in the parent handbook. As I am sure you will be aware, the government has set out very clearly that all students must return to school full-time in September.
This guidance can be found here:
Guidance for full opening – schools https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools
In addition to this guidance, the Government also published a guide for parent/carers:
What parents and carers need to know https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term
They have made this decision because the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased, the NHS Test and Trace system is operational and our collective understanding of the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools has increased.
The government recognises the importance of children and young people attending school – for their educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. We completely agree with this and we welcome the mandate that school will be compulsory for all young people. We understand that there may be some nervousness about your child returning to school and we will do everything we can to allay these concerns by setting out in the parent handbook how we are reducing the risks of transmission of the virus within our school.
It will, of course, be important that we continue to work in close partnership with one another in order to keep Eaton Bank Academy and its community as safe as possible. We would specifically request that:
· Students have to wear face masks/ face coverings* in corridors and in changing rooms (and on buses). We understand that there may be some personal circumstances which may prevent students wearing masks/face coverings, please let us know if this applies to your son/daughter.
· We will ensure that there are bins in every classroom; we ask all parents to please ensure that students bring a hand sanitiser, a pack of tissues and wipes (if possible) with them to school.
· If your child or any member of your household shows symptoms of coronavirus then you must not send them into school.
· We will be engaging fully with the NHS Test and Trace programme. If your child is displaying symptoms of Coronavirus you must:
– book a test for them
– provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with – ensure that they self-isolate. See https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) for more information on this.
· ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ remains an important preventative approach in the fight against Coronavirus.
We appreciate that, as we look ahead to the summer holiday period, some families may wish to travel abroad. Please be aware that we have a duty to enforce the law in respect of attendance and therefore we will not be able to grant permission for your child being out of school for this reason. We would also urge you to carefully consider the timing of your holiday as it may be the case that quarantine measures are still in place, depending upon where a student has travelled to and the timing of the travel in relation to government guidance.
With very best wishes to you and your family.
Mr M James
*Face Masks/ Coverings
We know that this requirement goes beyond what the DfE are currently saying but we do feel that this is a sensible and measured precaution for the safety of all our school community. The DfE guidance on face coverings for school usage may or may not change; we feel that whatever the DfE guidance suggests, at Eaton Bank Academy we should be going above and beyond the guidance in order to commit to the safety of our entire school community. In so much of this crisis, the DfE have offered basic ideas without putting detail and substance behind the ‘principles’. We feel this is one area where we as a school need to take control of the message and safety and put in place our own arrangements. We will be discussing with students and staff the need to keep washing hands to mitigate cross transference from face coverings. If we can get to a point where everyone is wearing them (only in the corridors during change of lesson, changing rooms and on buses) we will very significantly reduce any chance of virus transmission through droplet dispersal.