Posted on: March 20th 2020

School Opening Update

Dear Parents and Carers,

I would like to once again say a huge thank you for all your ongoing support, kind words of encouragement and appreciation over the past few days! It has been indeed one of the most difficult challenges we have faced as a school community.

In light of the current pandemic, it is essential that as a community we follow and make decisions based on government guidance in terms of social distancing, household isolation and self-isolation.

I am writing to respond to the guidance on maintaining a provision for children of key workers, vulnerable children and those with EHCPs. As you are aware all of the children at Shenstone have an EHCP. However, we followed the advice from the Secretary of State who noted that “Special schools, colleges and local authorities are advised to make case by case basis assessments of the health and safeguarding considerations of pupils and students on an education, health and care (EHC) plan. For some, they will be safer in an education provision. For others, they will be safer at home. We trust leaders and parents to make these decisions and will support them as required.”

We are opening Shenstone School (Crayford Site only) on Monday 23rd March from 10am-2pm and have spoken to Parents individually to establish which children are coming in and a text has been sent with confirmation to those families. We have had to make decisions based on staffing numbers, parents of pupils who are key workers and other exceptional circumstances (from both school sites).  Many parents have chosen to keep their children at home during this difficult time in light of medical needs, and the overall government guidance suggesting that everyone should be home if possible.

The catering company have agreed to make up food hampers for all pupils entitled to Free School Meals. We will be in contact with these families directly on how they can be collected. We will also ensure that we keep in touch with families of pupils who are not attending school to make sure you are all ok and offer support where we can.

We, of course, will have to review all decisions day by day as we cannot guarantee the future health of staff, their families and government guidance will evolve.

We currently anticipate that we will be closed for the Easter holiday, this is of course subject to government direction.

My staff team are amazing and have gone above and beyond during these very difficult times. We are all totally committed to supporting Shenstone pupils and their families, and wish you best health during these challenging times.

Yours faithfully

Lori Mackey