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Letter to Parents 17.03.2020

Dear Parents, Carers, Governors and Staff,


Having considered deeply the well-being for all in the Howe Dell family, the following cancellations will happen from now until after Easter when the situation regarding the Corona Virus will be reviewed.

  • Y4 Live Learning is cancelled
  • Y6 Live Learning is cancelled
  • Y1 Live Learning is cancelled
  • Any other PSA events or visitors beyond today such as Virtual Schools is cancelled from today
  • Visiting Tutors are cancelled and virtual meetings are being set up.
  • Y10 Work Experience students are cancelled
  • No Sharing Assemblies will take place from this Friday to the end of term
  • No additional visitors to school
  • All sporting fixtures are cancelled
  • Staff meetings and Leadership Team meetings are cancelled between now and the end of term. Consideration of Zoom/Skype for SLT communication is being investigated
  • Helen Jones (School Improvement Partner) Visit is postponed, new date to be confirmed at a later date.
  • If there are surplus members of staff in Day Care, they will be deployed to support classes in school
  • Swimming for Y3 is cancelled until further notice.
  • Book Fair already cancelled
  • Staff payroll arrangements are in place to support schools in ensuring staffs are paid in April and March
  • After School Club and Breakfast Club will run this week but as per all other clubs, will not run next week. Our priority is to keep the school open for school hours as long as possible.
  • No new starters for School and Day Care
  • Easter Play Scheme is cancelled


Whole School Assemblies stopped on Monday, but certificates and achievements will still happen in Miss Christmas and Mr Mason's Assembly. Reception children can celebrate birthdays and other moments in their classrooms. (Please do not expect the same coverage on Twitter as the usual Sharing Assembly, but I will post a photo from each Reception class if sent to me to do so).


Whilst we currently have no cases of Corona Virus within the Howe Dell community, it would seem practical and sensitive to reduce large gatherings and extended access to site for those not working and learning during the school day, beyond pick up and drop off times. I am wary to cancel clubs at short notice as children not collected will just congregate, but if we are open next week then do please assume we must cancel them then.


My Pupil Progress Project groups from Y1 to 6 will not be having their tea parties with me as planned, but we will make up for this with an outdoors adventure on the Eco Bus in the Summer Term.


If there is potential closure of the school or Day Care, they will be reviewed independently of one another and also as a whole site plan. This will be in consultation with senior governors, Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and senior managers in Day Care under the direction of me as Executive Headteacher. Our priority is to keep the School and Day Care open as long as possible, to support our working parents and most vulnerable children.


If a child is perceived to be with a persistent cough in school time, parents will be expected to collect as soon as they are notified by the School Office team as an additional precaution. Due to the severity of risk globally, not just at Howe Dell, if a family chooses to self isolate, they will be expected to do so in line with government guidelines and timescales. Attendance for self-isolation is authorised.

To be clear, the Office Staff are amazing but not medical advisers. Therefore it is for parents to determine if a child is absent through illness or self-isolation, not these wonderful ladies.


Thank you for your ongoing support on this matter and for ensuring unless your child has symptoms of Corona Virus or a direct link to someone diagnosed (none known at present) or extremely vulnerable they are still in school and learning. Any such cases are alerted to me, ensure consistency of message.


Yours sincerely


Debra Massey

Executive Headteacher