WIDER OPENING OF SCHOOL FROM 22ND JUNE
Many thanks for your responses to the survey last week about your return-to-school intentions. I have been able to use these to match demand with school capacity.
At Knotty Ash, we are very keen to open to as many children as possible, making safety our highest priority. Some of our families and children are coping ok with the long absence but others are ready for some normality before the Summer break.
We want to be able to offer some schooling to all children who need us.
Today, we are sending out emails to everyone who requested a place in school this term. In the email will be details of the days and hours we are able to offer. In some classes where there are already a high number of keyworker children or where demand is especially high, we have had to limit the offer to half the week. In other classes, we are able to offer full-time places. We are not offering extended hours to most children.
The offer to keyworkers remains unchanged, including extended hours provision as needed. Keyworker children will join their own class bubbles - as has already happened this week.
Arrangements for dropping off, picking up, lunches, equipment etc. along with health and safety measures are all set out in these documents:
Making plans for wider opening of school from 22nd June
From 1st June, we have been open for limited numbers of children in Knotty Ash. Careful risk assessments, staffing rota and detailed arrangements have meant that children and staff have felt safe and secure. Children have had fun, been able to socialise, accessed some 'home-learning' materials and a range of activities. They have been really good at social distancing, regular handwashing, and good hygiene.
Having seen how well this provision has worked with 25-30 children, we're now looking ahead to 22nd June and considering the arrangements for inviting more children back to school.
The arrangements will depend on numbers but some of the safety procedures will be:
Please complete this short questionnaire
Knotty Ash arrangements from 1st June
Dear parents and carers,
We have consulted with parents/carers, whole staff and colleagues in the Local Authority in order to formulate arrangements for school opening from June 1st.
To begin with, our offer is limited and will only extend to more children if this can be done safely. To begin with, our offer is open only to children:
- of keyworkers who have no safe alternative childcare
- who are deemed vulnerable due to social issues/complex SEND etc.
If you think you are eligible for a place, please email us using the contact form below. Alternatively, if you do not meet the criteria above but would like your child to access provision, please complete the form outlining your reasons and we will be in touch to discuss if we are able to offer support, depending on numbers and our risk assessments.
Monday 1st June onwards
8am – 6pm
If numbers increase, we may need to introduce staggered start and finish times.
Children will use EYFS and KS1 spaces
Drop off and pick up at KS1 entrance
Please observe social distancing when on school site
If you wish your child(ren) to access school offer, we ask that you agree to abide by safety advice:
All lunches will be provided by school kitchen. No packed lunches to be brought into school please.
School uniform to be worn please.
From Monday 15th June, the offer may extend to further children if it is safe to do so. On the basis of parental feedback, we will offer school places first to Year 6. Please note, though, that the date of 15th June is only provisional at this stage. Confirmation will follow after risk assessment on 8th June.
Liverpool Position on Reopening Schools
Liverpool local authority have made a city-wide decision on the reopening of schools. Working with colleagues across the city, directors have been able to respond to the local picture which is very different to other areas of the country.
The decision has been made that Primary schools in Liverpool will not open to classes on June 1st. They will be open only to a very limited number of children (the ones who have been attending Hubs or were eligible to.)
For more details, please read Steve Reddy's letter to parents below.
This decision is very much in line with the data we gathered from parental survey at Knotty Ash. The evidence clearly indicated that you felt June 1st is too early to send children back to school but a later date may be safer.
At Knotty Ash, we are now conducting risk assessments and drawing up provisional plans for further opening during June, in collaboration with the Local Authority, parents' survey and staff views.
We will share more details as soon as we can.
SCHOOL REOPENING ADVICE
Many of you will have seen the news that the government has asked all primary schools to be ready to open on 1st June. Initially, we are asked to open to all Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children as well as children of keyworkers and vulnerable children in other year groups. This means that we will have over half our usual numbers.
Advice from the Department for Education suggests the following measures to control the spread of Covid-19 in school:
The advice also says that children are encouraged to return to school but no fines will be issued for non-attendance. Of course, there are children who need to shield and some who live with vulnerable family members so we will still aim to offer a remote-learning package of support for those children.
For the full document to parents please go to:
I am hopeful that we will be able to implement these measures as recommended. It will take a significant amount of work and mean a lot of change for children. They will not be socialising as usual and will need to get used to new rules and limitations. This may be more difficult the younger the children are. However, I cannot give any guarantee that the measures will eliminate the spread of germs including Covid-19, although they should reduce it.
The government have also indicated that they would like to see primary schools open to all pupils from 22nd June, if possible. For us at Knotty Ash, this would be much more of a challenge due to lack of space for separating into groups and a reduction in staffing due to shielding etc. As things stand (and we are only at the initial stages of drawing up plans) it is unlikely that we would be able to operate the measures recommended for all classes. However, 22nd June is 6 weeks away and a lot could change in 6 weeks!
Please be reassured, that much as we want to see all our family back together in school, we will always put the safety and wellbeing of children first.
In order to assist us in planning, please can I ask that you complete the feedback form below. If you would like a paper copy, these can be collected from the school office on Wednesday and Thursday this week from 9 - 12.
PLEASE reply so that we can take your views into consideration when drawing up plans at this very difficult time.
LETTER ABOUT HUB ARRANGEMENTS FROM 6TH APRIL
Dear Key Worker Parents/Carers,
From Monday 6th April the SPST Hub is merging with the St. Paul’s Junior Hub. The school staff supporting this Hub will be: St. Paul’s Juniors, St. Paul and St. Timothy’s Infants, Lister Infants, Lister Juniors, St. Mary’s Primary, Knotty Ash Primary and East Prescot Road Nursery. Hours of operation will be 7am to 7pm. We will cater for children aged 4-11. Entry to the Hub will be through the gates to the Junior School on Spring Grove.
As you know:
CHILDREN SHOULD ONLY COME TO THE HUB IF THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY OTHER SAFE PLACE TO BE. IF IT IS AT ALL POSSIBLE FOR CHILDREN TO BE AT HOME THEN THEY SHOULD BE. THE GOVERNMENT IS CLEAR THAT CHILDREN WHO DO NOT FALL INTO THESE CATEGORIES MUST BE KEPT AT HOME.
We do not want to be alarmist, but this information MUST be taken seriously. The hubs will operate as a safe place for children of the identified key workers. There will not be educational provision.
If you fall into the key worker category please bring your child to the main entrance from 7am. The provision will close at 7pm. You may pick your child up at any point during the day. Please ensure you pass on what time you are likely to pick up and who will be picking up on that day.
You may be asked to provide proof of your key worker role over the coming weeks. We have put a registration form on our school website, please download, complete this and bring it with you on the first day that your child attends.
If you work shifts, then your child should only attend when you are in work. If you have someone else to care for your child at home, then they must not come to the Hub on those days or for the hours when you are not in work.
We have had queries about children with EHCPs. Children with EHCPs should only attend if their parents fall under the key worker category and there is no one else to care for them safely at home.
Food available to the children:
7am – Breakfast – this will be provided to children arriving between 7am and 8.45am.
10am – Snack – please provide your child with a snack and bottle of water (labelled with their name).
12 noon – Lunch will be provided 12.00-1.00pm (Children can bring their own packed lunch if you prefer).
3pm – Afternoon snack will be provided.
5pm – Tea – please provide your child with a sandwich (or similar) and a drink.
Please do contact school on firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help, advise or clarify.
Emergency Childcare for children of Key Workers
Below you'll find: a letter about emergency childcare during school closures from the Local Authority; a letter to non-hub schools from St Paul and St Timothy Infant School (our partner Hub school); a registration form to be completed by eligible parents requesting this provision.
Please note, this provision is only being offered to children of key workers where THERE IS NO OTHER CHILDCARE OPTION. This is very important. We are all being advised to keep a safe distance from one another so the safest place for your child to be is at home.
At the St Paul and St Timothy Hub there will be children from SPST, Lister Infants, Mab Lane Primary and Knotty Ash. There may also be a few from other schools. It is vital that we keep numbers to a minimum. Headteachers from all four schools have a duty to safeguard staff and other children.
For this reason, we will be checking eligibility carefully. Local Authority advice is that both parents/carers must be keyworkers in 2-parent families. As a single-parent, if you are a keyworker, there still needs to be no alternative childcare.
If, having considered this criteria, you are certain of eligibility, then please print and complete the Registration form below. If this isn't possible, there will be paper copies at SPST on Monday morning but please allow time to complete and discuss. We will be asking for proof of eligibility.
All other details should be covered in the Letter to Non-Hub Schools. If you have questions, email Knotty Ash school office at email@example.com
Information on school hubs for Monday:
Gov.Uk Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision
As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
We know that schools will also want to support other children facing social difficulties and we will support head teachers to do so.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.
This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.
This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.
This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).
This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.
This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.
This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
If your school is closed then please contact your local authority, who will seek to redirect you to a local school in your area that your child, or children, can attend.
We are grateful for the work of teachers and workers in educational settings for continuing to provide for the children of the other critical workers of our country. It is an essential part of our national effort to combat this disease.
9pm update 19/03/2020
Steve Reddy, Director of Children's Services, Liverpool, has announced that nurseries, children's centres and schools have been identified to provide childcare for certain children from Monday 23rd March. There are 5 nurseries, 23 children's centres and 42 primary schools.
Knotty Ash Primary HAS NOT been contacted so it looks as if we WILL NOT be open to any children after tomorrow.
Steve Reddy has said that the list of schools and settings offering childcare will be shared tomorrow.
There is no detail yet on arrangements for specific children. I will seek clarity tomorrow on:
As soon as there is any further update, I will share it.
1pm update 19/03/2020
This update from the Chair of Liverpool Primary Heads Association (LPHA):
I have just come from an Education Planning meeting held at Cunard.
The current message is that ALL SCHOOLS ARE TO CLOSE at the end of play Friday 20 March 2020. There will be 'Educational Settings' (to include school buildings) identified to be open from Monday 23 March 2020 to help serve the needs of childcare for Key Workers and those in vulnerable groups. We are still awaiting Government confirmation on these definitions. A further update will be sent out later today.
Initially, the focus will be to provide for Early Years and Primary aged children that fall into the groups defined above. This will evolve.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 19/03/2020
Yesterday evening, the government announced that school will be closed to MOST children from Monday 23rd March.
Some children will be able to access childcare facilities during school hours: children of 'key workers', children with EHCPs, children with social services support. Eligibility is NOT decided by the school. We are waiting for the Local Authority to inform us which children this includes.
Liverpool Local Authority are organising provision for eligible pupils. This may not be in the child's own school. A number of 'hubs' will be identified to provide childcare facilities. We are waiting to hear if Knotty Ash will be identified as a 'hub'. We are waiting to hear which schools are to be used.
All national testing has been cancelled for the summer term. This includes:
Today and tomorrow, we are providing reassurance and fun for the children. We do not know how long schools will be closed.
As soon as we have any further information, we will contact parents by text, twitter and this website page.
At Knotty Ash, we are following directives from the Department for Education regarding Coronavirus measures. Liverpool Local Authority are also providing regular guidance to schools.
Currently, the instruction is for schools to remain open.
Knotty Ash is taking all possible measures to ensure the safety of pupils and staff at this time.
If you are worried about your child, then you should refer to https://111.nhs.uk for specific advice.
The general advice currently is that if anyone in the family has symptoms (new persistent cough OR high temperature), the whole family should self-isolate for 14 days.
We want to reassure our families as much as possible so parents will not be penalised for choosing to keep children off school in self-isolation or to protect vulnerable family members. All absence related to the virus will be recorded as 'authorised' and will not affect children's attendance measures.
Please contact school if you need any further information.
If government guidance changes, we will inform our families immediately.
For more information, see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance