Setting the context
The Prime Minister announced that schools would close on Friday 20th March 2020 and that has now happened. School will remain closed for the foreseeable future and it is unlikely that this will change before September 2020. SCHOOL AND SIXTH FORM ARE NOW CLOSED
The current Coronavirus pandemic poses the greatest threat to our country since the second world war and the measures we must take in order to get through this outbreak, are unprecedented. The answer to this pandemic is one based in the reduction of social interaction rather than medicine. All of the current steps being taken to control the spread of this disease involve the reduction in opportunities for people to come into close contact with others.
The safety of everyone within our school community is our number one priority. We will, as a school, do everything we can to reduce the need for students or staff to have face to face interaction. We will support those who need to take special precautions because of individual or family risk factors. We are also supportive of those who need to isolate themselves or their families if they become unwell. The governors, leadership team and all of our staff appreciate the need for us to support key workers, like NHS frontline staff for example, to be able to carry out their roles unimpeded.
Supporting Key Workers
Like other schools, HCCS has been asked to set up a facility on the school site to help key workers, essential to our nation's response to this pandemic, to be able to carry on working when they would ordinarily not be able to secure adequate child care arrangements. The scheme is not about recreating school on a smaller scale or trying to continue to deliver the school’s normal curriculum. Our staff will provide a safe and stimulating environment for a limited number of children each day and will continue to work within the key principles set down by the country's Chief Medical Officer.
The key principles are:
- We will limit the opportunities for social interaction (close contact with others) as much as possible.
- We will discourage all adults from entering the site or from engaging with each other when dropping children off or picking them off.
- We will discourage any form of personal contact such as for example, hand shakes, high fives etc.
- We will only accept children into the facility if all other options for them to remain at home safely, have been exhausted.
- Children will be asked to stay at least 1 metre away from each other at all times.
- The capacity in each room that we used will be reduced by 50% or more to enable students and staff to remain at least 1 metre away from each other.
- Frequent hand hygiene will be compulsory for children and staff.
- The most vulnerable children in our school community must be given priority to keep them safe
The offer to key workers
Recognising the need to offer support for key workers whilst also ensuring the safety in everyone within our school community, we need to outline the offer that we are able to make at this time.
The Key Workers Club (KWC) we will offer is based on:
- Supporting parents whose occupation is clearly included in the government's published key workers list. We will be asking for evidence of this by means of a work ID card, payslip or letter from the employer confirming the role.
- The majority of students needing supervision are expected to be in the year groups 7, 8 and 9. - - Year 10 students will be accepted on a case by case basis. No other students will be allowed to enter the school premises for any reason, at any time.
- Children with an EHCP and those who have social care involvement in their family and are vulnerable as a result and for whom safe, alternative support at home is not available.
Parents will book their children into a place on the scheme in advance. At the very latest, by 4pm the day before a place is required. We cannot accept children who have not had a place booked. To book a place on the scheme use the forms available on the website or email: KeyWorkersClub@hccs.info
Please do not turn up unannounced your child may be sent home. In emergencies, we will be happy to work with families of NHS frontline staff or other care staff if they are called into work at short notice, to give as much help as we can.
The capacity in the scheme will be limited to 60 places per day. If this capacity is breached, we reserve the right to prioritise frontline NHS and other workers in the direct care providers group.
Children who are unwell, or display any of the symptoms of a suspected Coronavirus infection, will be sent home immediately and we would ask that parents are sympathetic to our need to be as cautious as possible in this regard. We will always look to prioritise the safety of all of our school community at all times.
We will not accept children who have themselves or members of their family have any of the symptoms of Coronavirus. If any member of the family is recommended, using the NHS 111 guidelines, to self or family isolate, the recommended isolation time must have been completed before reapplying for a place in the scheme.
Key Workers Club (KWC)
The scheme is based on providing a safe environment for up to 60 children per day. It will be staffed by employees of Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School on a voluntary basis. The staffing will include a mixture of staff from across all staffing groups. The KWC will operate from 9am until 3pm, Monday until Friday
All activities will be supervised but not all by qualified teachers. This is not going to be a normal school day or aimed at delivering any form of lessons that support the delivery of the normal school curriculum. Children will have access to IT facilities so they are able to access the school work set for them in google-classroom. We will endeavour to maintain a ratio of one staff member to fifteen students with one extra member of staff in a supervisory role.
We will reserve the right to reduce the capacity if for any reason we are unable to maintain this ratio as the weeks progress. We are cognisant of the fact that it is expected that around 80% of the population will catch this virus over the coming months. Our staff and their families must also be able to recover safely and we will monitor the situation closely. The safety of everyone in our school community remains our priority.
Children will participate in a range of supervised, engaging activities.
Food and drink
Catering will be provided by our partners Sodexo and the usual cashless payment system is in operation. A morning snack will be provided free of charge and we suggest that all children bring their own drinks bottle or cup. Water will be freely available throughout the day.
Normal school transport will not be available to support the KWC. If parents have any specific issues then we would be happy to discuss on a case by case basis to see if we can offer assistance. Under the circumstances, we do not recommend that families share transport arrangements for obvious reasons.