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Update from Mr Clay

Dear Parent/Carers,

Yesterday, Gavin Willamson MP announced that the government had abandoned plans for all primary aged pupils to return to school before the end of the Summer term. While not completely unexpected, I am frustrated, as I am sure many of you will be, that this announcement came with no further information. Many questions, too many to list here and keep to the point, still need answering. Following a meeting of Leeds Head teachers yesterday, I am reassured that a multitude of key questions are being posed to the local authority and through them to the DFE (Department for Education). While it is tempting to push ahead of the guidance and directives and make plans for school, I feel that this would lead to false starts and cause many more issues in the long run. Currently, I do not feel that this approach would be in the best interests of our pupils. To this point, we have been fortunate in school that we have been able to offer provision for all those who are eligible and have requested it. This has been due to a high level of staffing (i.e. No illness and only a handful of staff who cannot work at this time), clear lines of communication with parents\carers and careful planning of our phased re-opening. However, as demand for Key Worker places rises and we complete the phased return of pupils in Reception, Year 1 and 6 next week we are quickly filling all available space and deploying all staff available to work. Due to this, future requests for eligible pupils to return will have to be considered on an individual basis considering group sizes and the classroom environments. I appreciate that this will cause issues for families moving forward and I want to make it clear at this stage that these decisions will not be taken lightly. I intend to avoid rearranging any of the provision currently offered to pupils unless it is absolutely necessary. I would like to thank you all for your support and understanding at this time. We are faced with many challenges in school at present and hearing how hard pupils are working at home and how those who have been able to return have enjoyed this and valued the opportunity to do so has been heartening. Finally, I would like to again thank all the staff at school for their professionalism and commitment to the pupils during this time. Without such a commitment, we would not have been able to open to the numbers of pupils we have done. Yours sincerely, Mr James Clay Head Teacher