Roselyn House Individual Support Education
31 December 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I wanted to write to you ahead of next week as I am sure you will have seen a lot of news
coverage with regards the delayed openings of schools and mass testing.
The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson announced yesterday:
‘With case rates rising across the country, the government will now begin applying the contingency framework for education and childcare settings and push back the staggered return for secondary schools and colleges by one week.
Secondary schools and colleges will extend the staggered return of their students to give more time for the rollout of testing. This will help find asymptomatic cases and break chains of transmission, making it as safe as possible to return to face-to-face education.’
Lancashire has now become a Tier 4 area. This means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse, egg for essential shopping, collection of medicines, taking children to school. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the New Year period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household.
As an independent special school, we have been offered greater flexibility on face-to-face attendance during the first week of term in order to mobilise our mass testing programme.
We have much to consider in these matters and have a fine balance between the education of our students, the mental wellbeing of our students/ families and staff and safety of students and staff in these times of increased transmission.
We want you to be part of the decision making process with regard testing for students as at present it is the expectation from the government that these tests will be organised by school staff, in school, with the student using the test on theirself and then the results processed within 30 minutes.
This opens up a whole array of health and safety procedures to implement, not to mention and hasn’t been considered, the effect on the young people doing these tests and how this may cause increased anxiety.
We also have the issue that now Lancashire has been placed in Tier 4 that many of our outside activities and providers will once again be closed and will not be able to find out exactly which until next week.
It is with all this in mind that we have discussed the best way forward for the school and the needs of students. Next week, students will not have face-to-face contact in school unless they are a child of keyworkers or risk assessed as needing to be in school due to increased vulnerabilities. (Please email school as a matter of urgency if this is the case).
It is our intention that the following will take place, in order to give us chance to assess student’s welfare and consult with parents/ carers on the proposed testing programme.
The Timetable will be as follows:
Monday- INSET – staff will deliver food packs to families with doorstep delivery
Tuesday- remote learning and student welfare meetings
Wednesday- remote learning and student welfare meetings
Thursday- home visits and discussions with Parents/ Carers over proposed testing
Friday- home visits and discussions with Parents/Carers over proposed testing
It is my apologies that this is the case and that you are only finding out a few days before we are due to return but we were only made aware of the situation, yesterday and we are still waiting on specific guidance from The Department for Education.
Your child’s Bubble Lead will be in touch on Monday with further details of timings and we will send further information during the week as we receive it.
In the meantime, thankyou for your continued support and please be assured we have your child’s best interest and needs at heart. We will do everything we can to make this work and work on ways to move forwards, with yourselves in the coming days.
Please have a safe and peaceful New Year and we will be in touch soon.
All the best,