Two Horsham schools to close tomorrow for emergency inset days

Two Horsham schools have announced they will shut tomorrow, January 4, for emergency inset days.

Monday, 4th January 2021, 10:31 am

Trafalgar Community Infant School will be shut for all children but aims to open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers only from Tuesday January 5, co-headteachers Miss Green and Mrs Amos said.

In a statement they said all other children will be taught remotely via Google Classrooms.

They added: “Please read the letter dated January 3 2021 on how to register your child if they fit the required criteria.”

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Susan Costa, headteacher of All Saints Primary School said an emergency meeting of the school governing body has been held today.

In a statement, she said: “The governing body have reviewed the school risk assessment in light of reduced staffing levels and have been in contact with the local authority.

“We have taken the necessary decision to use one of the remaining Inset Days, tomorrow, Monday 4th January, in order to plan the way forward.

“We apologise for the extremely short notice and appreciate the difficulties that this may cause, however, in these unprecedented circumstances, it is unavoidable.

“Due to the reduced number of staff available, we will be planning for the partial closure of some year groups beginning on Tuesday January 5, whilst continuing to provide for key worker and vulnerable children.

“The school will be contacting you tomorrow morning to request up to date information about attending any Key Worker or Vulnerable Children provision. Obviously, this is a constantly evolving situation and we will keep you updated as and when we receive further information from West Sussex County Council.

“We are aware that some parents have been in contact with the school directly, unfortunately, we regret that we are unable to respond to individual enquiries at this time.

“We thank you for your continued understanding and support during this challenging period.”

Holbrook Primary School has announced that due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ the school has experienced a reduction in staffing levels, which has required them to revisit their risk assessment.

In a joint statement, headteacher Ian Holmes and chair of governors Ali O’Neill said: “Following an emergency Governors meeting this morning, we regret to inform you that the school will only be open for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils tomorrow. This difficult decision has not been taken lightly and has subsequently been ratified by West Sussex local authority, who are currently in ongoing discussions with the DfE and further guidance is

expected.

“This phased return to school will include on-site provision from Monday January 4 for all vulnerable children (those with EHCPs or with a social worker) and the children of critical workers. The Government have stated that ‘if your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision’.

“If you are able to keep your child at home, then please do so, as this will allow us to provide a high standard of remote learning at home and school.”

They added that the list of critical workers includes: health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport and utilities, communication and financial services.

They said: “A comprehensive list of critical workers can be found by clicking on the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronaviruscovid-19-maintaining-educationalprovision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-onmaintaining-educationalprovision

“For those children at home we will follow our remote learning policy and communicate learning at home that mirrors that at school using SeeSaw (Years 1-6) and Evidence Me (EYFS).

“If your child is vulnerable or you believe that you fall into the category of a ‘critical worker’ and would like your child/children to access the school for their education please email school at [email protected] with your details (child’s name, year group and your occupation). We would appreciate if all replies can be sent to the school by 7:30pm tonight.

“I appreciate that this letter may have caused concern for you and your family, but please be assured we will continue to do everything we can to safeguard the health of your child and every member of the school community, and to communicate this in as clearly and timely manner as possible.

“Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.”

Headteacher of Steyning Primary School, Sue Harrison, said the school will be shut from tomorrow, January 4.

In a letter to parents, seen by the County Times, she said: “We do not currently have enough staffing to make it possible to teach on site.”

All learning will move online from January 5 with the school reopening to key worker children from Thursday, January 7.

She added: “A separate letter will be going out to all parents with pupils who are considered under the ‘vulnerable’ category.”

A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council said: “We are continuing to work carefully with schools across West Sussex to help them be ready to re-open to pupils in line with the Department for Education’s timetable.

“This includes supporting schools to put every possible safety measure in place when they re-open and supporting online learning where schools are using it.”