2nd January 2021

 

Dear King’s Oak Community,

We hope you had an enjoyable Christmas period and that you have had some opportunity to spend time with loved ones – even if it was remotely. It was an interesting Christmas and a very different one; we hope it will be a once in a lifetime experience!! We sincerely hope that you and your families are well and that you all had loads of fun together despite the challenges.

We are writing to you following the Secretary of State’s announcement yesterday with regard to the reopening of schools following the Christmas break. It is essential that in these times of turbulence, we as a school can provide some level of clarity to the community that we serve. We wanted to share our plan with you as soon as possible, to give you and your families the peace of mind that you rightly deserve at this challenging time. Of course, if the guidance changes further, we will respond with agility and let you know how we are reacting to any changes in the Government guidelines.

Owing to the sharp increase in Covid-19 case rates across the country and the new strain of the virus, the Government has stated that onsite teaching should commence in January only for pupils in the groups listed below. We have a pre-planned INSET day on Monday 4th January and as the change in guidance requires a considerable amount of preparation, we will be reopening school for the following groups on Wednesday 6th January:

  1. Children who live with at least one parent who is a Critical Worker as specified by the Government (please see the list at the end of this letter)
  2. Children who have an EHCP
  3. Children who are classed as vulnerable
  4. Children in Pre-School and Nursery

Online learning will be provided every day for children who are not in school during this period of closure.

We will be sending out a ParentMail form early on Monday 4th January to all parents/carers and ask that you complete this by midnight on Monday 4th January if your child/ren meet the criteria and you wish your child/ren to attend school during the next two weeks. We are not limited in the number of spaces we have and will welcome pupils if they meet the criteria. If you have any queries concerning these groups, please contact us.

On Tuesday 5th January, you will receive confirmation of your child’s place via ParentMail (together with any additional information you might need) and your child will be expected to attend school from Wednesday 6th January.

Summary:

Monday 4th January: INSET Day – no pupils in school.

Tuesday 5th January: Online learning provided for all children.

Wednesday 6th January to Friday 15th January: children in the groups listed above can attend school. (Again, please complete the form which will be sent out on Monday). Children not attending school should access online learning each day.

Please continue to let us know if you and/or your child/ren are self-isolating or indeed if anyone in your household bubble has tested positive. This information is important for us to ensure we have data at hand to protect our community. We also pass this information to the Director of Public Health Kingston so that she can have a full overview of Kingston communities.

 

Benefits-Based Free School Meals

We are currently in liaison with Kingston Council to understand what provision is being made for those children who are in receipt of benefits-based Free School Meals (FSM) during the period of school closure. Given the timing and nature of the Government messaging, please be patient and rest assured that we are working as quickly as possible to ensure that meal or voucher provision will be made for entitled children. Pupils who are in receipt of Free School Meals and who are on-site will be able to access food provision in the normal way. We will ensure all of our pupils in receipt of Free School Meals get what they are entitled to.

If your family circumstances have changed and you think your child might now be entitled to benefits-based free school meals, please complete the RBK application form as soon as possible. We encourage all parents/carers who are on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits to apply to Kingston Council for benefits-based free school meals using the online form. It is quick to do and, if successful, Kingston Council will let us know within a few days. This is the link to the form: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/schools-education/free-school-meals-1/2?documentId=417&categoryId=20003


And finally

We will of course keep you updated, just in case there are any further last minute, unexpected changes to the current Government proposals.

Stay safe, take care and please pass on my best to our amazing pupils. Please remind them of the importance of online learning. They will never get this time again so together let’s make sure they seize every opportunity to learn.

Maggie Bailey

Consultant Headteacher

 

Critical workers

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.

 

Health and social care

This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

 

Education and childcare

This includes:

  • childcare
  • support and teaching staff
  • social workers
  • specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response to deliver this approach

 

Key public services

This includes:

  • those essential to the running of the justice system
  • religious staff
  • charities and workers delivering key frontline services
  • those responsible for the management of the deceased
  • journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

 

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of:

  • the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, and the delivery of and response to EU transition
  • essential public services, such as the payment of benefits and the certification or checking of goods for import and export (including animal products, animals, plants and food), including in government agencies and arms length bodies

 

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food:

  • production
  • processing
  • distribution
  • sale and delivery
  • as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

 

Public safety and national security

This includes:

  • police and support staff
  • Ministry of Defence civilians
  • contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and EU transition)
  • fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)
  • National Crime Agency staff
  • those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas

 

Transport and border

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and EU transition, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass and those constructing or supporting the operation of critical transport and border infrastructure through which supply chains pass.

 

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes:

  • staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)
  • the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)
  • information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response
  • key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)
  • postal services and delivery
  • payments providers
  • waste disposal sectors