Letter from the Governing Body

May 21, 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to let you know the outcome of our governing body meeting today. Whilst we are keen and eager to see our children again and have them back at Parkhead, the safety and welfare of our pupils, staff and wider school community is our most pressing concern. Since the government announced on the 10th May that they would be aiming to reopen schools, we have been working hard, in line with the government guidance and the advice from the Local Authority, to prepare our school for the possibility of reopening. We have rigorous health and safety plans in place to protect everyone and make it the safest environment possible for the children, staff and their families.

In order to ensure this happens successfully, we have agreed as a governing body that we will not be in a position to safely extend opening beyond the key worker and vulnerable groups on 1st June. We are concerned that Gateshead has one of the highest transmission and infection rates in the country for COVID19. Furthermore, the Government has yet to confirm that the conditions are met for schools to bring more children back. This is not expected until Friday 29th May which is too late to implement for an opening of Monday 1st June.

We are expecting tomorrow, a local authority risk assessment and guidance which we must follow, once this is received we can continue our preparations to ensure that when it is safe to do so, we can begin a phased return to school, with the 8th June being the earliest possible date that this could start. We understand that people have a number of concerns and questions surrounding this, particularly as when we return our provision will be very different. We will endeavour to keep you informed as much as possible, to allow you to make appropriate preparations. In the meantime, we continue to remain open to the children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils.

As soon as we can, we will inform parents of our plan for the remainder of the summer term. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Charlotte Brewis

Chair of Governors