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Coronavirus Update 12 May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I wanted to contact you very briefly today in relation to the school reopening news contained within the government’s announcement on Sunday night at 7pm.

I, like you, watched the government’s announcement in the hope that it would give further information about the impact of the easing of the lockdown and provide clarity in relation to the rumours circulating in the press about the possible future reopening of schools.  Following the announcement there was still a lot we didn’t know and it wasn’t until late yesterday evening when further details were released in relation to this.  However, there is still lots we don’t know and more information is due to be released by the government in the next few days/weeks.

What do we know?

At the earliest by June 1st – after half term – as long as the scientific conditions are being met, the government believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of schools, getting primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

It is also their ambition that secondary pupils facing exams next year (Year 10 and Year 12) will get at least some face to face time with their teachers before the holidays to supplement the remote education they are receiving.

The government will shortly be setting out more detailed guidance for School Leaders on how to make this work in schools.

What don’t we know?

There was a lot it didn’t tell us, and we therefore still have no clear messages to share with staff, parents and children, who we know are very anxious to understand what this will mean for them.   

We are not alone in this, every school across the country will be asking the same questions and being asked the same questions.

We do know that we will continue to support those children who are attending at school and those parents and carers who have now been supporting home learning for a number of weeks and may be finding things very difficult.

I am sure that you will want to know about practical arrangements, what social distancing measures are feasible and how to implement these, supplies of equipment and PPE, transport arrangements etc. 

We will provide information and answers as we get them, however this may take some time. We need to wait for clear guidance from the government before issuing the steps we will take to hopefully create an action plan for any phased reopening for us/your children. We will share this with you as soon as possible.

It’s a very unsettling time for us all, but rest assured that we’re going to be doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready to receive your children in some form of school reopening in the coming weeks when it’s safe to do so.

However, we’re also acutely aware of the anxieties some of you will have about your child returning so we are not going to be pressuring anyone to send their children to school, since you know your children and personal situation best. We’ll keep you updated with all our preparations for making sure the school is as safe as possible, so you can make an informed decision.

For now, nothing will change until we get further guidance

The school continues to remain open only for vulnerable pupils and the children of critical workers. I also want to give advance notice to the parents of these children that we intend to remain open to support you/your child over the May Half Term holiday. 

We know some employers will be encouraging you to return to work, but we’re not in a position right now to extend places to other children until we receive further government guidance.

This will not be what some people want to hear but, we need time to plan and prepare to ensure that any changes are made safely.

We’d like to thank you for your continuous support in encouraging/helping your child learn from home.  Following Sunday’s announcement, it’s confirmed that the remote learning at home is the only way we are going to be able to educate our young people for the rest of this academic year, so we’ll need to keep going with this for a while yet.  Please do continue to do what you can and stay in touch with us about how your child is doing.

I wish you, our students and your families the very best and hope you are all staying well.

Look after yourselves and those around you.

Kind regards,

Rod Bell - Headteacher

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  • Important update about Child Protection and Safeguarding during COVID-19 school closure

    Published 09/03/20

    Important update about Child Protection and Safeguarding during COVID-19 school closure

    Alongside our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy, the following definitions and arrangements apply until further notice:

    Vulnerable children include children who have a social worker with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

    We will liaise with the Local Authority and with parents to decide whether a child with an EHCP needs to continue to be offered a place at school to meet their needs, or whether they can safely have their needs met at home This could include, if necessary, carers, therapists or clinicians visiting the home to provide any essential services. We understand that many children and young people with EHC plans can safely remain at home. Eligibility for free school meals is not a key determining factor in assessing vulnerability.

    Our senior leaders and DSLs (Designated Safeguarding Leads) have the flexibility to offer a place to children who do not have a social worker but for whom some safeguarding needs have already been identified. 

    There is an expectation that vulnerable children who have a social worker will attend an education setting, so long as they do not have underlying health conditions that put them at risk. Local authorities and education settings do not need to complete their usual day-today attendance processes to follow up on non-attendance. We will follow the process set out in Wiltshire Councils flowchart until further notice.

    To support the above, we will, when communicating with parents/carers of vulnerable children, confirm that emergency contact numbers kept on the children’s files are correct and ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.

    Designated Safeguarding Leads

    To ensure school staff have access to specialist advice and support about safeguarding, the following details apply.

    Name

    Job title

    Responsibilities

    Main registered base

    Phone number

    (office hours)

    Email address

    (please use when out of school office hours)

    Robert Staten

    Assistant Headteacher

    Designated Safeguarding Lead

    Corsham School

    01249 713284

    (school office)

    RStaten@corsham.wilts.sch.uk

    Lydia Smith

    Inclusion Manager

    Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

    Home

    01249 713284

    (school office)

    LSmith@corsham.wilts.sch.uk

    Chris Smith

    Head of Corsham 6th

    Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

    Home

    01249 713284

    (school office)

    CSmith@corsham.wilts.sch.uk

    N.B. The phone number shown above is the school reception number which is in operation during school opening hours - any concerns will be immediately forwarded to the Safeguarding team for action.  Outside of school hours this message will not be picked up until the following day, so we encourage the use of the email addresses provided.

    Reporting a concern

    Where staff have a concern about a child, they will continue to follow the process outlined in the school’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.

    If a staff member cannot access our established reporting system for safeguarding from home, they will contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead who is available from the list shown above

    Any email containing confidential information will be sent using official school email addresses.

    Where staff are concerned about an adult working with children in the school, they will continue to follow the Wiltshire process set out in the allegations flowchart  published on www.wiltshirescb.org.uk. In the absence of the headteacher and/or Chair of governors, staff will follow the alternative leadership contact arrangements.

    Safeguarding Training and induction

    As DSL training is unlikely to be available during the current outbreak of Covid-19, D/DSL training will continue to meet statutory requirements, even if the refresher training and annual updates are not available within the required timescales. Our D/DSLs will keep up to date by reading government guidance and other relevant newsletters eg NSPCC as they are published.

    All existing school staff have had safeguarding training and have read part 1 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019). The DSL will communicate with staff any new local arrangements, as appropriate.

    Where new staff are recruited, or new volunteers enter our school, they will continue to be provided with a safeguarding induction. If staff are deployed from another education or children’s workforce setting to our school, we will take into account the DfE supplementary guidance on safeguarding children during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will follow Wiltshire Council advice about safeguarding in relation to visiting staff/volunteers as it is published and updated on Right Choice until further notice.

    Upon arrival, at the school, visiting staff/volunteers working here on a temporary basis, are given a copy of our safeguarding/child protection policy, including confirmation of D/DSL arrangements.

    Safer recruitment/volunteers and movement of staff

    When recruiting new staff, we will continue to follow the relevant safer recruitment processes for our school, including relevant sections in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2019).

    In response to Covid-19, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has made changes to its guidance on standard and enhanced DBS ID checking to minimise the need for face-to-face contact. We will follow this guidance
    DBS checks during Covid-19 outbreak

    We will continue to keep the single central record (SCR) up to date as outlined in in KCSIE and will follow Wiltshire Council advice about safeguarding in relation to the SCR and visiting staff/volunteers as it is published and updated on Right Choice until further notice.

    Online safety in schools and colleges

    We will continue to provide a safe online environment for staff and children. This includes the use of an online filtering system. Where children are using computers in school, appropriate supervision will continue to be in place.

    All staff who interact with children, including online, will continue to look out for signs a child may be at risk. Any such concerns will be dealt with as per our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and where appropriate referrals will still be made to children’s social care and as required, the police. Online teaching will follow the same principles as set out in our Staff Code of Conduct. We will ensure any use of online learning tools and systems is in line with privacy and data protection/GDPR requirements.

    Supporting children not in school

    We recognise that school is a protective factor for children and young people and the current circumstances can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers.

    We will devise plans to support any child who is vulnerable and not able to attend school for any reason. Plans will be shared with parents and (social workers where involved) and will be reviewed fortnightly.

    Supporting children in school

    The Headteacher will ensure that appropriate staff are on site and staff to pupil ratio numbers are appropriate. We will refer to the Government guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement social distancing and continue to follow the advice from Public Health England to limit the risk of spread of Covid -19.

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  • Coronavirus Update 22nd May – ‘Nothing beats kindness in a crisis such as this’. #KindnessMatters

    Published 19/12/19
    Dear Parents, Carers and Students Firstly, I hope that you are all well and coping as best you can in the ongoing situation.  As we come to the end of week #9 of lockdown and the end of Term 5 of our ‘normal’ academic calendar, I
    Read More
  • Have your contact details changed?

    Published 29/11/19

    Dear Parent/Carer, If you have recently changed any of your contact details would you please let us know:

    Read More

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