27th May 2020
Dear parents and carers,
Since I last wrote to you, the Trust Board, Head teachers, staff and I have been making detailed plans around the practical arrangements that are needed to ensure the safe return of more children. The Trust Board met on Thursday to evaluate the proposed plans across the Trust and we can, therefore, reassure parents that Tees Valley Education’s academies will be able to offer places for additional children when the identified necessary arrangements can be safely implemented and of course, this includes the five tests from the government.
Thank you to all parents and carers who have expressed their views and confirmed whether or not they would like their child to be considered for a place, should we be able to provide one next week. This has allowed each of the academies the opportunity to draw up rotas of staff and children, as well as to plan where in the school the children will be based. This was an important step to planning a safe and careful return for more children. Whilst your Head teacher will write to you with specific academy details so that you can share them with your child(ren), I can confirm that they have considered and planned for many routines, some of which include:
The timings and places of entrances and exits of each group of children
The routes around school
Access to outdoor play areas
Learning spaces within the classroom
Lunchtime / break time routines and designated toilet spaces
Hygiene routines (including frequent handwashing)
Cleaning routines (including having a permanent full time cleaner on site every day)
These were the most frequently asked questions and comments from parents so as you can clearly see, there will be new routines and expectations in place whilst the country must stay socially distanced and remain safe. As adults, you will notice a difference in drop off and pick up routines as well as signage around the site. Your access into the academies will also be limited compared to life in March. We really need you to help our staff and your children to stay safe, so please support and follow any requests from your academy.
Staff will have been trained (where necessary) and updated with new procedures and routines and of course they will then share them with the children, upon their return. Whilst we fully understand that it will take some time to get used to a new normal, we are all committed to staying safe and offering the very best we can to one another. In some cases though, where we judge a situation or an associated need to be a high risk, we will have to undertake additional risk assessments and adjust our procedures. Once again, head teachers will share this with any parents, carers or professionals as needed.
We remain committed to supporting the welfare of and the educational opportunities for all children so we will, of course, continue sharing learning opportunities for all and continue undertaking all of the amazing community work.
Once again, thank you for your continued support, it really is making a huge difference to the staff and our children. As always, I remain confident that through a careful and pragmatic approach, we will find a solution that works for all of us as a community. I have seen time and again, that individuals and our communities have demonstrated that even in these situations there are countless moments of light and hope, where gestures of compassion, kindness, care and connection are every day ones. Your Head teacher will write to you as soon as they can following the government announcement of whether the five tests they stipulated have been met, around places and routines. Therefore, please follow the guidance and communication from your academy carefully.
With all best wishes,
Miss K E Morley