Many of our parents/carers and staff will have seen the government announcement that all schools - mainstream and special- need to remain open for pupils who have EHCP's.
We know that there is much confusion as although the government has stated this, the NHS has clear guidance that all those with a learning disability (all Bridge pupils) are vulnerable and they have been advised to socially distance themselves. There are also other groups that are vulnerable with particular medical needs. The NHS has given guidance that such vulnerable people should socially distance themselves and these measures should be stringently applied due to the high risk situation that we are all currently facing. The NHS guidance is on our news page and I have sent a copy out to parents/carers - not all with have received it yet if their child is not in school. Telford and Wrekin LA are going to speak to the DFE tomorrow and ask them specifically again. We will also be seeking advice from the NHS.
All I can say for now is:
- any parent or carer that is following the guidance of the NHS and do not want to send their child into school, due to them being on the vulnerable list, their absence will be authorised.
- any pupils or pupils where someone they live with have Coronavirus Symptoms (continuous cough OR high temperature) all members of household must self isolate for a minimum of 14 days. All should be ensure they understand when after the 14 days someone can stop self isolation and also what self-isolation involves e.g. no leaving the house. This also applies to our staff.
- we have sent a significant number of children home and also staff with either a cough or a high temperature. We do not know if this is Coronavirus as no-one is currently being tested.
- we are planning to be open tomorrow (19/3/20) and Friday (20/3/20) as long as staffing levels permit us too safely for those parents/carers who have decided to send their children to be in school and of course are not under any isolation restrictions. I re-iterate that parents/carers who don't want to send their children due to the NHS guidance this will be authorised. In terms of staffing levels, whilst we have an idea who is in or not each day we are clearer when we get an update on staff health each morning given it is an ever changing picture.
- We are seeking further clarification from the DFE and the NHS and the position of our pupils..
In the meantime, I would like to pass on a message to our families that are currently self-isolating and not leaving the house. If you struggle with accessing provisions, medication etc you can call Family Connect 01952 385385 or you can email us on A7017@taw.org.uk. It we are closed at any point it may be 2-3 days before we access a message but we will try and support any families if they are struggling with supplies when self-isolating.
Your children are wonderful and we care very much about them, you and your families too. Please continue to take care of yourselves and your children in what we know are confusing and difficult time.
Kind regards to all
Heather and all of us at the Bridge School.