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Northmead Junior School

Northmead Junior School

Educational Provision for Key Worker families and vulnerable children during the COVID-19 crisi

27th March 2020 - Dear Parents and Carers,

We are writing to you to outline plans for combining educational supervision, currently operating at individual schools, to a central Trust location. As numbers of children accessing on-site care across our five schools are limited, to a maximum of 30 children on any given day this week, we are seeking to rationalise educational support to one site, Stoughton Infant School, Stoughton Road, Guildford, GU2 9ZT. This will be operational from Monday 30th March.

As we all come to terms with our responsibility for limiting the  spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus, headteachers and I have been appreciative of the efforts parents and carers have made in keeping the numbers of children coming to school sites to an absolute minimum. I know you would like to join me in thanking headteachers and staff, in all our schools, for the wonderful work they have been undertaking in providing on-site educational supervision for those families and children for whom home educational provision is not an option.

Athena Schools Trust is made up of five schools across the Guildford Area: Guildford County School, Northmead Junior School, Pirbright Village Primary School, Shalford Infants School and Stoughton Infants School. Through discussions with the Pirbright Headteacher, it has been decided that its location prohibits Pirbright reconciling its provision at this time. Therefore, the on-site educational supervision at Guildford County School, Northmead Junior School, Shalford Infants School and Stoughton Infants School will be pooled and provided collectively at Stoughton Infants School. The facilities at Stoughton enable us to provide for children in every development stage, the space needed to deliver separate infant, junior and secondary learning experiences and continue to provide for wider community needs. It is our intention to limit interaction between children in different schools as far as is practically possible.

While we appreciate that the convenience of school drop offs may be affected for some, we are mindful that we are keeping more schools open and more staff are being required to come to a place of work than is advisable in this time of heightened social distancing and where every individual is being encouraged to stay at home wherever possible. We thank you for supporting us in this difficult decision. Through this rationalisation our staffing across the Trust can be reduced significantly and their health and well-being safeguarded more effectively. This collective provision allows us to keep serving those families who rightfully need our care, while also limiting the potential exposure of our staff and their families to a minimum.

The provision at Stoughton will begin at 9am and end at 3pm. Food will be provided for those who wish to purchase a packed lunch, and each local school will continue to provide free school meals for those as required. Both for those attending on site, and those who have been accessing this provision in other ways. Please liaise with your school in the usual manner and they will inform you how this is operating for you individually.

We will keep this situation under review. We are aware events around the pandemic are rapidly changing and we may need to adjust swiftly.  It is our intention to support those critical worker families and those of vulnerable children who have used on-site care so far throughout  Easter holiday period, but arrangements concerning this are at an early stage. If you have any concerns, or wish to seek further clarification, please do not hesitate ​to contact your usual school contacts, who will advise you accordingly.

Thank you for your support at this challenging time. All schools across the trust send their best wishes ​to you and ​your families at this time. We will continue to serve you and your children. 

Take care

Debbie Brown                                                Jack Mayhew

Headteacher                                                   Executive Headteacer Athena Schools Trust