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New Guidance for schools for September issued by the DFE

To all our families


New guidance was released by the government yesterday in relation to pupils returning to school in September. All schools now have to work to fully understand the guidance and the implications how schools will operate. One of the principles is keeping pupils in consistent 'bubbles' and 'bubbles' not mixing in school. Schools have to consider size of bubbles. There are many things to think about to avoid bubbles mixing including: dining, playtime, use of outside space, movement around school, use or non-use of specialist rooms (due to the high cleaning need across bubbles), resources and how they are allocated, transport and much more. Movement and cover staff for staff absence in the context of the work within a special school is also another area to plan for. 


All I can say, for now, is that we are already working on all of above to produce a risk assessment that will be completed following the guidance of Health and Safety, Public Health and also Governors. We hope to do this as quickly as possible so we can and then be able to share more details with you. There will then be the need to have some individual parents/carers who feel their child may need specific support/arrangements to return to school and some medical advice. 


We hope to get as much information to you before the end of term and then if we have any things we have not been able to finalise do an update before pupils come back in September and of course all we do has to be responsive to any new guidance and advise.


In the meantime,  all of us know the impact that this period has had on all our community.  As you know, we have kept in regular touch with all our families. We will continue to support the our pupils and families in the best way we can now and when more pupils return. We know every pupil's reaction will be different and will have different needs. For example, some will need as much of the familiar structure that we can provide and some will need relaxed demands that are gradually re-introduced. Nationally, there has been much written about the need for a Recovery Curriculum. I want to reassure you that The Bridge has always aimed to meet the needs of every child and our commitment remains to support every child the best we can in the context and processes that we will all have to work within in. 


In the meantime, thank you all for the positive messages and support that we have had throughout this time. Please do say hello to all our truly wonderful pupils. Please also all continue to take care and we will be in touch as soon as we can about plans and processes for September.  From talking to parents/carers, we know there is a mixture of emotions from relief and anxiety about the return to school. We understand this and never has it been more important for us to all work together.


Kindest of regards 


Heather and The Bridge