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2nd June 2020

Dear parents and carers

I hope you and your family are all safe and well.

I am writing to give you an update.  As you are aware, the Government instructed schools to begin a phased opening of schools from the 1st June.  We began to make all of the necessary changes needed to follow the guidelines and complete risk assessments to make sure children and staff are as safe as possible when more children are invited into school.  Late on Thursday 28th May, Lancashire County Council issued a statement advising schools not to open on the 1st as it is still unsafe.  This is under review and at the moment, we have no further information on when this advice might change.

As a Headteacher, I can only open school when I believe it to be as safe as possible.  The virus is likely to be with us for some time yet, so schools will have to open before it disappears completely or a vaccine is found.  I will share more detailed plans about what we will do in school to protect our community as much as possible at a later date; however, our whole school community MUST play its part.  The actions of some people in the community are in danger of putting not only their families, but other families and when school opens more fully, my staff at risk.  Lockdown has NOT been lifted.  6 people from different households are permitted to meet outside as long as they maintain the 2m distancing rule. Primary aged children will not be able to do this unless supervised by an adult.   I and many members of my staff have witnessed large groups of people, teenagers and children from our school behaving as if there are no lockdown rules in place.  Large groups have been playing sport on the MUGA, children have been seen in parks and hanging around on Brougham Street, boys have been going to the barbers (hairdressers and barbers should not be open yet) etc. I appreciate how difficult it is to keep children occupied during these times, but lives are still at risk.  We have already lost a number of our community to the virus and I do not wish to hear of any more.  BME communities are TWICE as likely to die if the virus is caught, we cannot turn a blind eye and pretend this is not happening. 

What we do know for certain is that there will be no full time education for ANY year group and it is likely that some year groups may not return at all before September.  This would mean some children will not have been in school for over 23 weeks if we include the summer holidays!   Home learning is going to be a very important part of our children’s education.  We understand how difficult home schooling can be, but we are continuing to work very hard to make it as easy as possible for parents to support their children.  Many of you are doing an amazing job and your children are benefiting greatly from your efforts, a small number of children are falling further and further behind members of their class because they are not completing enough work at home.  If your child does not understand something, they can email their teacher and they will get the help they need.  If there is anything at all that you or your child needs, email teachers or school on or telephone us and help will be provided as soon as possible.

Thank you for your continued support.  Take care and stay safe.

With our very best wishes

Lisa Davison and the staff at Stoneyholme Community Primary School