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Posted on: 20/03/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Update

In the light of further information from the government, I am writing again to clarify the arrangements for the partial closure of the school from Monday. The reason for the closure is, of course, to restrict the spread of coronavirus, and for this to happen the government has set a recommended limit on the percentage of the school population who can still attend from Monday. This is 20%, which in our case is approximately 78 children. Priority has to be given to vulnerable pupils, including those with Education & Health Care plans, which again for Westfield Junior School will be about 32 children. We also have about 8 children with an allocated social worker, which is the other definition of ‘vulnerable’.

This leaves roughly 38 places available to children whose parents are key workers. The government last night released a list of occupations deemed to be key, which was far greater than originally anticipated. Contrary to popular rumour, they offered no advice about whether priority should be given to two-parent families where both parents are key workers, or one-parent families where the parent is a key worker. Consequently, based on the fact that only 38 places are available, allocation will be prioritised in the following order:
• Pupils in a two-parent household where both parents are key workers, and pupils in a one-parent household where the parent is a key worker.
• Pupils in a two-parent household where one parent is a key worker, but the other parent is not.

I realise that under these circumstances we may not be able to accommodate all children whose parents are key workers, but I must stress that if we go substantially over the recommended 20% maximum, then there really is no point in closing the school at all. I should also remind parents / carers that the government has stipulated that children should remain at home wherever possible, regardless of their parents’ occupation.

If you have any questions or concerns please do contact the school, but I would ask for your continuing patience, especially with the office staff, whilst we try to manage a situation that is constantly evolving. Thank you.

Written by Headteacher
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