I hope you are enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend and the glorious sunshine.
I decided to send the completed list of questions from staff and parents to you, in advance of any news tomorrow from Boris and his team.
I have attached the current guidance from the DfE for you too, I wanted to illustrate that actually there are very few details and schools are then required to interpret the guidance for their own settings (with the help of the Local Authority). The DfE guidance is not always as helpful as you might imagine - but it what we have to work with. It's highly unlikely we will have all our questions by any guidance that comes out from any announcement tomorrow, but we will be able to work on finding the answers together, over time.
A link is here for you too. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.
As I complied the list of your questions, it was interesting that staff and parents had many similar concerns about any possible re-introduction to schooling and routines. What is clear to me as I worked through the list is that no-one will have all the answers. I, and other school leaders, do have the answers to a few of the queries [e.g will school's Attendance Policy be relaxed? (Yes)], but the majority of all our questions will only be known as Boris' plan becomes clear, the Local Authority considers and gives its guidance later on Monday and then we all work together (in the days and weeks following) to construct our own, safely considered, return to what we remember as normal schooling.
It is my view that the more we work together as a St Matthew's 'Team', the more we will keep our community safe. That will require us to communicate well at a time when communication has so many barriers. We will need patience and tolerance and we will need to retain a calm and considered approach - with the main focus on physical safety and emotional well-being, rather than education and learning. What education children have missed and what their level of attainment is, is not, at the moment, our main priority. Attainment and progress will become more predominant in all schools (whether they are primary or secondary) throughout the next academic year as the coronavirus (hopefully) is no longer a risk.
With that 'team spirit' in mind I have also attached St Matthew's Returning to School Action Plan as it currently stands. I wanted to share it now as you will see that staff have already preempted some of your questions ... and together (staff, governors and parents) we will be able to use the Action Plan, as the nation slowly comes out of lockdown and our wonderful children come back to enjoy school life again.
I hope your weekend goes well, stay safe