School Closure due to Coronavirus
At 5.15pm yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday 20th March 2020.
He also indicated that all the GCSE, AS and A-level examinations due to take place this Summer, have been suspended; and that students would be credited for their learning in some other way.
Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals. We are expecting a definition of ‘key worker’ today from the Cabinet Office. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision.
Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. You will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.
The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other frontline efforts. Our school response is yet to be determined.
I will be working my senior leadership colleagues, and all staff, and the Local Authority to clarify as best we can what this announcement means for our school, for our pupils and for you. I anticipate providing more details later today.
Thank you for your support and for your patience in the meantime. For today and tomorrow pupil attendance is expected to continue as normal within the COVID-19 Public Health England guidance.
Mrs T O'Donnell