The Secretary of State for Education and the Prime Minister instructed schools to close from Monday 23 March 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Parents were asked to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those of workers critical to the COVID-19 response and those pupils who are vulnerable, including those who have education, health and care plans (EHCPs)
As a result of all of our pupils falling into these categories, Hopewell will follow the government’s statutory guidance; we intend to continue to stay open as normal in line with our term dates. If we can safely staff our schools then we will operate.
Attendance is likely to be low, and the activities offered are going to more focused on practical classroom based activities, therapeutic support and wellbeing as well as feeding pupils, than it is on the curriculum.
All reward trips, PE sessions and the PDAP programme will not take place at this time.
During this time SLT focus is entirely on operational management of the schools at this time. Meetings should only be conducted face-to-face if urgent or called to deal with an emergency. Where meetings do take place, social distancing advice must be followed. There should be no unnecessary travel to meetings and if a phone call or emailed report will suffice, then this is preferable. Physical contact should be avoided where possible and excellent hygiene must be role-modelled and expected of all staff and pupils.
Any pupils or staff displaying symptoms of COVID-19 must not be at school and if they are, will be sent straight home to self-isolate for at least 7 days.
Some/many families will most probably keep their children at home until schools re-open We have a robust plan in place for those young people who do not attend school during the closure.
Any safeguarding concerns, including peer on peer abuse and online safety concerns, during this time will be treated in the same way as prior to the pandemic. All staff know who the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads (DDSL) are; any concern is to be shared immediately via the report form and shared with the DSLs either in person or online.
The DSL/DDSL’s will always be contactable via email and their mobile phones, even if they are not present on site. The school will continue to work with pupils’ social workers, local authority SEN teams and child looked after (CLA) teams. For those pupils not attending, teachers and therapists will provide the best possible remote teaching, therapy and support they can. Teachers/key workers will contact families on a regular basis, they will provide a range of learning activities in line with the planned curriculum in as many subjects as possible via post, phone and/or email. Therapists will contact pupils via telephone.
Whilst we recognise that remote teaching may raise some complex safeguarding issues, we are in a unique time and we want to ensure our pupils can access learning whilst at home. All class work will be provided through Google classroom and teaching staff will follow up with phone calls home. Ideally all email communication will be with the pupil’s parent(s) and where online lessons take place staff will communicate with parents first
. It is important that all staff who interact with pupils, including online, continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns should be dealt with as per our ‘keeping our pupils safe’ policy and where appropriate referrals should still be made to children’s social care and as required the police. Although we do not need to complete our usual day-to-day attendance protocol to follow up on non-attendance, we continue to make regular contact with families to ensure that we are aware of each pupil’s individual situation and reason for absence. We will be, along with social workers, agreeing with families whether children in need should be attending education provision – we will continue to follow up on any child that we were expecting to attend, who does not.
Whilst we complete our attendance registers in the same way, we are also completing and submitting a daily online attendance form to the Department of Education, which keeps a record of children of critical workers and vulnerable children who are attending school. This allows for a record of attendance for safeguarding purposes and allows schools to provide accurate, up-to-date data to the Department on the number of children taking up places.
DSL training is very unlikely to take place during this period, however our DSL and all of our DDSLs have recently attended and completed enhanced training at the required level. All existing school staff have had annual safeguarding training in September 2019 and have read at least part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).
The DSL will communicate any new local arrangements with staff, so they know what to do if they are worried about a child. In the highly unlikely event that staffing levels mean we have to close, and on the presumption that premises would then have to close entirely, staff will be remunerated in full to work entirely from home. We therefore would aim to provide the very best education and therapy we possibly can via workpacks, online learning and email.
Regular phone and email communication with teachers, TAs, the therapy team , SLT are in place ready for use should the school need to close.
March 30th 2020
School informs me everyday how my kid’s day has been. Staff put a lot of work into meeting his needs.
I’m very happy with the school overall, finally a school my son can learn in.
My son absolutely loves school.
I am happy with my son’s progress and with his learning in classes. I’m impressed with the communication.