20 March 2020

SCHOOL CLOSURE INFORMATION

Parents/carers should read all of this information carefully.  It contains information about children who are in / not in from Monday, free school meals children and how you can access school / school work.

Werneth School is closed with effect from Monday 23rd March 2020 until further notice.  We have been working with the government and local authority to provide a service for a small number of children moving forward, and we will do this using the systems explained below.

We understand and sympathise fully that this creates problems for families but we must work within the government and local authority guidelines that protect your children, our staff and the capacity for the school to remain open longer term.  We therefore respectfully ask that you follow the government advice in terms of social distancing at all times.  The advice is very clear.  Provision in school is a last resort for a small group of children.  Children should be kept at home wherever possible.  We are trying our best in difficult circumstances, and we know you understand that.  Thank you for your continuing support.

Has my child been offered a place next week?

School will be open on week days to a small number of children, and provided with a daily care package.    Only two categories of children are offered a place.  In both cases, it is at the discretion of the parent to decide if they wish to take up the offer:

Ø  All parents were informed yesterday that children of critical workers will be accommodated within this arrangement.  Those who responded to keyworkers@wernethschool.com will be contacted today with an outcome.  Other parents can use this email if you believe you are eligible for this as a parent who is a critical worker and we will respond to your email.

Ø  A small number of additional children with vulnerable characteristics have also been invited in.  We ask that you understand we cannot provide for every need: if we did, over 400 children would be in school every day and we simply cannot operate on that level in these circumstances.  Therefore, we have had to follow the clear Stockport guidelines of children who have a designated social worker, and children who have an Educational and Health Care Plan.  You will therefore be contacted today if your child is offered a place under these circumstances.

If you have not been offered a place, your child cannot attend school from Monday I am afraid.  I have to minimise the risks for school staff and the small group of children in school.

My child is eligible for Free School Meals

If your child is not in school and they are eligible for a free school, we will be providing a lunch daily to take away at 12.30pm.  This will need to be picked up at EITHER the main reception at Werneth School OR First House in Brinnington.  Both will be open on every school day.  Please be clear that students will NOT be allowed into school – they will collect their grab bag and leave immediately.

Students should collect their grab bag personally.  If they are unwell, another person may collect with some form of valid identification for the child ( birth certificate, passport etc ).

This is a community service and we ask for your co-operation in making it work.

We need to make arrangements for this to happen on a weekly basis: we do not want to waste food.  If you wish to take up this offer, you should email main.office@wernethschool.com by 9.30am on Monday, or ring school to confirm this.  This will then allow you to collect a meal each day of the week.  You will need to complete this same procedure each week.  We need to know your child’s name, year group and choice of pick up at either school or First House.

Children who have been allocated a daily care package in school will receive a lunch time meal in school, but there will be no break time service.  These children can bring snacks in with them.

My child has not been allocated a place in school – what do I do with them?

YEARS 7 to 10

We are providing printed resources to children who do not have computer access today.  This is difficult, and we recognise you may have been missed or need more in the future.  If you need this now or in the future and have not been provided with them, contact us using the contact details below and we will do so as soon as we possibly can.

For everyone who has computer access, teachers for pupils in Years 7 to 10 will be providing work daily via Show My Homework.  This will include detailed work to be completed at home.  Teachers are also available to receive and mark work if you require this.  We are prioritising this service for Year 10 who are our greatest concern as they are midway through their GCSE course.  We therefore advise Year 10 parents to ensure they are accessing, completing and returning work to their teachers following the guidance.

There are a wealth of online resources for our students too, including Hegarty Maths, our PIXL apps and Tassomai for Science.  They will all be available.

It is going to be a challenging period and we will have to be realistic that children are not getting the quality of education that they deserve.  We will do our very best in challenging circumstances, and have some work to do when we return!

All students in Years 7 to 10 will be contacted in some form weekly – electronically or via phone - either by their form tutor or another member of our pastoral team to make contact.  This is in addition to the work set by teachers.

YEAR 11

There is no useful work for Year 11 to complete at this stage, as the course is now complete.  We await guidance from the government in terms of what happens next.   It may be at some stage that they have to come in and complete tasks or assessments or whatever is decided.  We will keep you informed as soon as anything new happens.  We aim to provide some additional recognition for them in whatever format we can when this situation is over, but I can’t confirm anything yet as I am sure you will understand.  They have worked so hard and it is heartbreaking for them, but as I said to them yesterday I am sure their needs will be catered for when this is sorted out.

CONTACT US

My priority is to keep a school facility going throughout this unprecedented situation.  Whether your child is in school with us, or working from a distance, we are here to support families as much as we are able to.  We know other services are closing or are more difficult to contact, and your school will try to be that central focus that you need to support you if you need us.  You can contact us throughout this period, and we will do our best to respond.

Again, please respect that I am limited in terms of students that we can accept and – whilst I know that creates problems – it is done for the best interests of society to keep the school operational.

You will continue to receive regular updates from Werneth School in this same format from key staff moving forward.  School will still be contactable for all parents with a small number of staff in school every day: parents can contact school on 0161 494 1222 or can email the new email address ineedhelp@wernethschool.com and we will respond to any contact with as much support as we can offer in challenging circumstances.

Useful government advice for parents:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Finally…

We wish you well in this very difficult period. 

We will keep communicating. 

We appreciate your support. 

We look forward to returning to some form of normality, hopefully before the end of the academic year in July.

 
 
Mr A Conroy - Headteacher

Posted by cmurphy

Category: Headteacher's Blog