Reopening nursery letter







22nd May 2020

Dear Mums, Dads and Carers,

The governors and I wanted to update you on the progress of the schools risk assessments and planning that has taken place to help us determine whether the school can open to more children from early June, if the Government advice is to do this.  The information provided in this letter is current at the time of writing but as you can understand the school is receiving new information daily and Bordesley Green is currently classed as a hotspot for the virus.

The decision has been made that Bordesley Green East Nursery School will not be opening more widely until 8th June at the earliest, based on current knowledge and guidance, and the following explains the process that has taken place and some of the reasons for this decision.

The decision not to open more widely was made following discussions with my senior leadership team, the staff team, Local Authority, and during a governing body meeting that took place this week. Decisions regarding how we operate will be reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body every 2 weeks. I know this decision will make childcare difficult for some of you and I hope you can find a good safe solution. 

This letter contains lots of information and we hope it will be helpful to you when making a decision about whether you wish to send your child back into school for the rest of the summer term. There are a number of measures we are currently being asked to put in place to reduce the risk for both children and staff. The current feeling is that we would be endangering the lives of my staff and the community we serve if we rushed a wider opening.

The schools ethos centres entirely on providing children with a secure, happy and stimulating environment, inspiring them to become confident, life-long learners and responsible members of society.  We all want to be back in the school and classrooms as we miss the children dearly. We want to be back, able to teach, care for, laugh and cry with the children. We want them to play and interact with their friends and continue to develop as young people in the community

In order to effectively assess the risk, the school leadership team have:

 • Read the various guidance documents produced by the Department for Education (of which there are many!)
• Surveyed parents of children in Nursery about the health of their child and families and asked if they would send their child to school if we were to open.  
• Surveyed staff about their concerns and added protective measures to the risk assessments
• Produced a draft action plan for reopening including:  the organisation and management of staffing; space availability and use; hygiene and cleaning; social distancing at various points; use and availability of PPE; arrangements for food; management of play and use of equipment; and managing sickness amongst many other things.
• Held discussions with individual members of staff, the senior leadership team, the local council, and governors to seek further guidance, advice and views. 
• Read as many articles and reports as they can manage to establish the views of professionals, doctors and scientists. 
• Kept an eye on local areas and the compliance with social distancing. 

I hope you will appreciate there are lots of changes to inform families about and we need to be as clear about the new expectations as we possibly can to try to keep everyone safe. A video will be uploaded to our website and facebook page demonstrating how the school will look and the measures below will be in place:

-First and foremost we cannot guarantee 100% that your child will not catch the virus, we are putting in a number of strategies to prevent cross contamination but we ask all parents to please be responsible and ensure that your child is well prior to sending them to school and that you are remaining vigilant within your family.
-Maintaining social distance, especially for our youngest pupils will be almost impossible.
-Children will be placed in ‘bubbles’ (small groups) who access the school at different times of the week to prevent spreading the virus. They will be placed with a consistent group of staff who they may not be familiar with.
-Bubbles will operate on a two day FT provision at either the start or end of the week with Wednesdays closed for a deep clean of the site before the other group attends.
-If any member of a group of children in school test positive – the whole group would need to self-isolate for 14 days, impacting more widely the ability for the school to remain open and risking infecting their own family.
-Parents will be asked to check that contact details are up to date and that the school has at least two points of contact for all children. Please add the school number to your phone so that you know it is us contacting you. If a child becomes unwell they will be isolated and we will ask you to pick them up.
-The overwhelming  feeling of parents and staff is that it is too risky for them and their families (only 20% of parents surveyed said they would send their children back and many of these mentioned a reluctancy to even though it would help in terms of work commitments).
-Children will wash their hands on entry to the building and multiple times during the school day.
-The school will be asking for packed lunches with disposable packaging
-All parent enquiries must be made by phone call or email
-Parents will not be able to enter the building and a one way system will be in operation around the site. We ask that no siblings come onto the school site and where possible only one parent is assigned to coming to school with their child.
-Parents are asked to provide sufficient nappies and at least two changes of clothes as nursery clothes will not be available due to the risk of sharing the virus.
-We encourage parents to wash all clothes following children returning from nursery.
-There will be no parent partnership, school celebrations, end of year trip or graduation.
-A significant amount of training for staff needs to take place to ensure the success of any reopening; this needs to be developed, planned, delivered and understood. This is not something that can be rushed through. 

I also know that many children are preparing to move to Primary school and are ending their time at Bordesley Green East Nursery School. We are in contact with your children’s next schools and are looking at innovative ways to support the transition and create a leaving celebration in the new school year to celebrate all of your children’s achievements during their time at the Nursery.

We will continue to provide home learning links for children at home and as a staff team we are looking at the possibility of holding virtual group times so that children can interact remotely with their teachers.

In respect of those who are critical workers, I want to thank you for your additional efforts to keep your children safe by keeping them off school and I encourage you to continue to do this where you can. We remain here for this very small group of pupils, so if you do need childcare, please get in touch to discuss this.  

For now, I would strongly recommend keeping yourself and your family safe by staying at home where you can and following strict social distancing. The virus has not gone away; keep your loved ones safe and tell them how much you love them. 

Remember we are here for you, so if you have any questions or need support – just get in touch. 

Stay safe, look after yourself and each other. 

Thank you. 

David McCallin                              Sophie Callaghan

(Head Teacher)                             (Chair of Governors)