Important information regarding student attendance – from Tuesday 24 March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

Firstly, thank you for the very supportive approach that you have taken during these exceptionally challenging times. Whilst we are formally closed from Monday 23 March onwards, we will continue to support your child, both academically and pastorally and our school remains at the heart of our community. 

 

Special opening from Tuesday 24 March.

The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can safely stay 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.

 

The government have asked us to remain open only for children of critical workers and vulnerable children where we can.

 

Key workers

At midnight, the government published a list of those parent / carers who are entitled to send their child to school.  The link below provides specific details.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

 

The list includes the following; health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and security, transport, utilities, communication and financial services.

 

We are grateful to all of these key workers who are looking after us all.  In return, our staff team are also going to offer provision for your child / children.  It is critical to note, however, that this provision should only be taken up if there are no other alternatives (see guidance). 

  

Specialist Support Provision

Those children with safeguarding and welfare needs, including  those children on child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers and those with Education Health and Care plans might be able to attend school. This support will be offered  to some parents but  there is no requirement for parents / carers to send their children to school if there is not an urgent need to do so. A place may only be offered at the school’s discretion and with our ability to manage this situation.

 

 

School Provision

In terms of the school’s provision, please note that there will be no formal teaching for these students. They will be supervised in school, whilst completing the work set for all students to access from home or any additional work they wish to bring. Those staff who are supervising may not be teachers and almost certainly will not be subject specialists. There will be access to computers, so that students can pick up the work teachers have set. We are working to ensure we can provide something to eat for these students at lunchtime. School will be open to identified students on a tailored timetable.


Given the guidance above, we would only anticipate parents sending children in to school if all adults in the family are key workers and if the children are vulnerable.

If we are able to provide for your child we will gain parental consent by letter or email. Your child will need this formal consent to allow entry onto the school site on Tuesday. To ensure that we can manage the site safely, there will be no entry for those students where this arrangement has not been made.

 

Free School Meals

From 23 March, the Council has also set up a scheme to help with food costs for families who are facing additional financial challenges due to the Covid 19 virus.

 

To qualify your family must be Manchester residents or supported by the Homelessness Service. The criteria is:

 

  • Children and young people who meet the criteria for free school meals
  • Children and young people who are classed as an asylum seeker; and 
  • Children and young people whose family has been hardest hit by the recent issues and may be waiting for benefits to be assessed or have a gap in their income due to being laid off etc.

 

The contribution towards a lunchtime meal is £1.75 per day (£8.75 per week) for each child or young person in the household.

 

The Council will be able to pay this money within a few days by the following methods

  • A bank transfer into a nominated bank account
  • A secure text message that can be used to access cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city
  • A voucher that can be printed and can then be exchanged for cash from a range of Paypoint outlets in the city.

 

To make an application please submit a request via the Council’s Welfare Provision Scheme. This will be available from Monday 23rd march

 

 

 

St Peter’s will be closed to the majority of students from Monday 23 March, but we are in no way closed in terms of our ongoing care, support and kindness.

 

With Best Wishes and please keep yourself and your families safe

 

S Gabriel

Headteacher