25 May 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
I am writing to you today in order to give you as much notice as possible of the decision the leadership team and I have just made to further phase the reopening of Galley Hill. It is now our intention to reopen to children in Year 6 on 2 June, children in Year 1 on 9 June and children in Reception on 16 June. We will continue to be open for the children of key workers every day as we have been throughout.
I want you to know that this is not a decision that we have taken lightly. We have agonised over this decision having carefully studied the scientific research, the government guidance and discussed the matter at length amongst ourselves. We want nothing more than to be fully open again and educating our children face to face but at this time, our absolute priority is the safety and well-being of our pupils, staff and wider community.
We do have a detailed and extensive plan and risk assessment for the reopening of the school, based on the guidance provided but we are trying to implement this while the said guidance is constantly changing. As an example, additional guidance for safely opening for children in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) was published only yesterday – on a Sunday of a Bank Holiday weekend with only four working days to implement it. We want our children to be safe and feel we can best do this by giving ourselves the time needed to prepare properly. With regards to Early Years, we are also still awaiting confirmation of the ability to test children under 5 for covid-19 as testing and tracing are absolutely pivotal to the safe reopening of schools.
In addition to this, we know from years of experience, that even the most meticulous plans have blips in them when you add children into the equation. We think it is important that we slowly and carefully implement every stage of our plan so we can quickly identify and remedy any potential problem areas and this is why we want to gradually increase the numbers of children on site week by week.
We of course understand that this decision may have an adverse impact on some of you who need to return to work and we will do all we possibly can to support with this. We have added additional capacity to our key worker groups for the intervening period so please do send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to explore this option further with us.
Online learning will of course be maintained for the children in Years 1 and Reception until the point that they are welcomed back to school.
I really do send my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by the decision we have made and hope that you can see that our school community are at the very heart of it.
Take care and stay safe,