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Old Hall Special School

Everyone working together to achieve outstanding outcomes for our pupils and families

Corona virus update from Matt Ball Executive Head Teacher May 2020

Dear Parent and Carers,
I hope to update you on our Federation’s position, following the latest government announcement.
In summary:

  •  In the short term, nothing has changed.
  •  If you can safely keep your child at home, you should do so
  • We are awaiting specific guidance for Special Schools
  •  We continue to assess health and safety, solely based on the needs of our children and young people
  • We are developing reopening plans and scenarios, to be used when the time is right
  •  We will update you as soon as we are able to give you meaningful information

Our staff have devoted their working lives to the care and education of young people, and they do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be. However, it is my duty as Federation leader to make the safety of everyone in the school community my first priority.
Any plan to increase the number of pupils in schools has to be practicable and manageable. In many cases it will be physically impossible to bring back pupils and maintain social distancing, this is especially the case in our schools.
As school leaders now, our priorities will be to:

  •  Gain a better understanding of the details of the government’s plan
  •  Seek a clearer picture of the scientific evidence the government has based this plan on, and interpret the impact on our schools.

I want to reassure you all that our school leaders are still the people who know our schools best. If the national guidance cannot be safely applied in our school, we retain the right and responsibility, along with our governors, to make decisions regarding health and safety based on our own risk assessments. This may ultimately mean that schools are not in a position to expand pupil numbers fully in line with guidance.
While the slogan of the government may have changed, our advice is still: if you can safely keep your child at home, you should do so.
Yours faithfully,
Mr M Ball
Executive Headteacher, Old Hall & Mary Elliot Federation