Important Information Regarding Student Attendance From Monday 23rd March 2020

Dear Parent / Carer

Important information regarding student attendance – from Monday 23rd March 2020

Firstly, thank you for your support during these difficult times, the emails and tweets that you have been sending us are much appreciated.

So, whilst we are formally closed from Monday 23rd March onwards, we will continue to support your child, both academically and pastorally. More detailed information will continue to be sent to you in support of this.

However, as I have already made clear, Ferndown Upper School will remain open to those who need us.

From Monday 23rd March Ferndown will be open for the children of critical workers and for those children who are entitled to specialist support.

The school is staying open for critical workers to allow them to keep carrying out their vital roles. Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required.

However, the government has stated “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.” So while we are open, we would ask that you only take advantage of this provision if you really need to. The prime objective is firstly social distancing, and then it is the maintenance of essential services.

Critical Workers

The government has published a list of those parents / 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

We will accept all students who arrive tomorrow but may I ask that from Tuesday 24th you email us at school@fernup.dorset.sch.uk by 3pm the day before, for each day that you intend to take this provision up.

Students Who Receive Specialist Support

“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.”

These children may also be sent into school.

Concluding Points

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Students do not have to wear school uniform.
  • They will be able to access their lunch in their usual way.
  • We will ask them to use the same computer each day.
  • We will ask them to remain two metres away from other students.

I will be continuing to email out updates as more information becomes available and I will also be sending out further clarification about how Year 11 and 13 will receive their exam grades.

Thank you for you support and consideration during these difficult times.

Stay safe,

Philip Jones