18th March 2020

I am writing to update you on the situation regarding Hanley Castle’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The school continues to follow Government guidelines and will remain open for the present in order to provide childcare for key workers such as those in the NHS and emergency services.

However, we have experienced a number of difficulties today. A significant number of staff have been instructed to work from home due to pregnancy, underlying health conditions or being in contact with suspected COVID-19 cases. In addition, a number of staff are unwell. In total 26 teachers were unable to be in school, along with a significant number of support staff.

As a result, many classes have been doubled up or taught by non-specialists. The emphasis has been on safe supervision of students, often in much larger groups than normal, rather than on maintaining our normal standards of educational provision.

Sadly, children have arrived in school today who are clearly unwell and have had to be sent home.

The capacity of the school to safely supervise children will be reduced further tomorrow. With this in mind, please follow the following advice carefully:

Think carefully before sending your child to school – is it necessary to allow you to carry out work which is essential to the current emergency situation?
Do not send your child to school if they are unwell.
Do not send your child into school if they have been in contact with someone who is unwell.
Do not send your child to school if they have an underlying health condition which makes them more vulnerable to Coronavirus.

This advice strengthens and clarifies the advice in the letter sent to parents by SIMS In Touch yesterday. You can also access the original letter of the school website.

Please help us to ensure that the school is able to stay open to fulfil its responsibility to those parents who need to keep working for the benefit of the health and safety on our community.

Yours faithfully

Lindsey Cooke

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