3rd January 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you all had a good Christmas and New Year and I very much look forward to working with you in the coming terms and continuing the excellent work that Mrs Collins has done at Bromstone and St Mildred’s. It is very much an honour to be working across both schools and I hope that I will meet with you in person as time goes on. I am sure that you will all have seen in the press over the last few days and weeks regarding whether primary schools will be coming back as normal or whether they will follow the example of our secondaries and start later due to the rise in cases and the new variant of Covid that we are now exposed to. I must admit that I was more than a little surprised that the four East Kent districts – Thanet, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover – were not included when the directive was issued on Friday. It was then also slightly strange that when all London boroughs were asked to close that East Kent was not. Since this last government decision I have spoken to the Area Education Officer at KCC and had communication from the Chairman of the Kent Association of Headteachers, who have both questioned this decision, as well as one of the Thanet MPs, Sir Roger Gale, who has been very clear with his thoughts that it is not safe for Thanet primaries to open at this time. Unfortunately these requests have as yet fallen on deaf ears in government but I have a responsibility to the staff and pupils of our schools and their health must come first, as must that of family members who can also be affected through school transmission. To that effect, I have taken the decision to partially close both schools for two days in the first instance – Monday 4th January and Tuesday 5th January. This will mean that both schools will only be open for the children of Key Workers or those pupils who are deemed as ‘vulnerable’ (generally, but not exclusively, those who are in receipt of an EHCP). We will have Breakfast Club provision available at both schools alongside this provision and you will not be obliged to attend school every day if your working pattern does not require that. During this time we will thoroughly re-visit and update our school Risk Assessments and staff availability in order to decide the course of action that is best in the longer term. This will then be communicated to you in due course. I am aware that this decision will be met very much with a mixed response. We have already received several messages from families who have made the decision to not send their children to school for the first couple of weeks of term and I understand and support those decisions. I also realise that this decision will also make life more difficult for others and I apologise for the inconvenience that it will cause. It has been a decision I have taken with both senior leadership teams and the balance between the importance of children being in school for their education, mental health and to allow parents to work, contrasted by the need to fiercely guard the health of the pupils, my staff and our wider community. It is, however, a decision that I feel is the right one at this current time. We will be in touch with you shortly to confirm whether you need to access this Key Worker and vulnerable child provision. A separate email will be sent with a link to a Key Worker Questionnaire and parent/carers of vulnerable children will receive a phone call form Mrs Hadden.
As usual you can contact the school by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Williams | Executive Headteacher