Please note – This message was written prior to the Government’s announcement that London will move into Tier Two Covid measures from Saturday 17th October 2020. A further update will be provided as soon as possible.
Dear Parents and Carers
In these continuing difficult times I thought it would be helpful to provide a brief update to families covering some of the key issues.
The Department for Education have indicated that pupils should be attending school and every effort is being made to support this.
As you are aware to support this schools have developed what is referred to as bubbles. The intention is that a group of children within a school, for instance a year group, maintain distance from other bubbles in the school to reduce the risks and the impact if there is a Covid-19 diagnosis. If there is a diagnosis of Covid 19 part of or all the bubble will need to self-isolate for 14 days to reduce the risk of further transmission. For those in this circumstance please contact your school with regards school work that can be completed at home during this period.
Cleaning regimes across schools have been increased and other measures specific to individual schools introduced.
Schools and the Council are encouraging all pupils to attend where possible addressing the anxieties of families. However there are a few pupils who are unable to attend school at the moment as they require aerosol generated procedures. This requires space and enhanced personal protective equipment. The community nursing service are working closely with schools in relation to these children to ensure that detailed risk assessments and plans are in place to support their return to school.
There are challenges around staffing capacity within schools with some teachers and school staff having to self-isolate and this may impact on schools ability to offer as full an offer as they would hope. However wherever possible schools are attempting to be open as usual.
For those children eligible and receiving transport to school, the Passenger Assistance Service is endeavouring to ensure that school bubbles are replicated within any school trips.
The Passenger Assistance Service introduced an enhanced cleaning regime at the beginning of the outbreak and this is continuing with vehicles cleaned after every trip and deep cleaning of vehicles three times per week.
Newham Parent Forum have arranged zoom sessions with John Wood, Group Manager, and for further information about upcoming sessions please contact email@example.com
Prior to the start of the Autumn term Newham Parent Forum arranged a zoom session with Newham Public Health and another is planned in the next few weeks. If you are interested or have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org who can add you to the circulation list for this session.
I enclose a leaflet which has been sent to families with regards Covid-19 produced by Public Health in Newham.
Over the summer we managed to put on an increased offer of community based short breaks and we are intending to do the same for the half term. Further information will be updated on the Local Offer www.families.newham.gov.uk in the next few days as to how to access them. The Council is also putting on a number of half term activities which will be published on the main website if families are interested www.newham.gov.uk.
The Council provided support (#HelpNewham) to residents during the period of lockdown including providing food parcels to vulnerable families and regular telephone calls. I enclose a document outlining the support available now within the community following on from #HelpNewham initiative.
Business as Usual
Across Special Educational Needs and Disability, services are operating and contactable on their usual numbers. Services have had to adapt to the new environment and work in line with School Bubbles and staff risk assessments using a mix of virtual and face to face support.
There is no doubt that the following months will be a challenging and difficult time for families. As a service we are committed to supporting families through this period wherever we can.
With best regards
Head of Service
Special Educational Needs and Disability