In March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.
Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. You should note however that:
Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we expect schools to be able to immediately offer them access to remote education. Schools should monitor engagement with this activity (as set out in the section below).
Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised.
All other pupils must attend school. Schools should bear in mind the potential concerns of pupils, parents and households who may be reluctant or anxious about returning and put the right support in place to address this. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, we recommend schools discuss their concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk in school. Schools should be clear with parents that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies (for example, the pupil has been granted a leave of absence, is unable to attend because of sickness, is absent for a necessary religious observance etc).
Our school has currently 66 pupils attending across 6 year group bubbles from Year 1-6 and a mixed bubble of F2/YR1 . All staff with the exception of 2 are working in school.
Since week beginning 23rd March our school has provided on-line bespoke year group learning for all children from F1 - YR6 via the school blog and individual passwords. Engagement is on average 70% across the school. Every day teachers upload planned lessons of Reading , Spelling Punctuation & Grammar and Mathematics alongside weekly Science, Knowledge lessons , Quizzing eg Kahoot and our well- being based 'HeadSpace' program . Children then upload their work which teachers give feedback on and children respond to. All learning has continued to reflect the school's knowledge based curriculum , metacognitive approach and learning toolkit .School IPADS have been loaned out to support when needed. The SENDCO has coordinated additional SEND support for designated children learning at home through for example Behaviour Support Team , Autism Team , Behaviour Emotional Mental health service.
The school has worked hard to retain the strong vision of 'Believe Belong Achieve' and meet the needs of our community.
Communication with parents with children working on-line and in school has been a strength.The 3 DSLs have phoned all parents every week to complete 'safe and well ' checks and to support parents on a variety of aspects. 2 DSL's have also complete on average 30 doorstep visits to families each week.Teachers have communicated with parents to provide learning support on a regular basis. A weekly newsletter has been sent to all parents alongside a well being staff to children video and a video celebrating parents supporting children's online learning at home. The schools weekly reward of Believe Belong Achieve learning awards have also continued.
A consultation to parents about learning provision has been sent out (July 2020) and we are awaiting the results of this to inform next stage plans.