Important message for key workers about school provision during closure

As a school we are required to provide provision during normal school hours during the current closure to children of key workers who have an essential service to provide which makes it impossible for them to provide care for their children themselves as a family. The DfE advise that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. Note we have also put links on our website and Facebook to help you identify as a key worker. Guidance on which key workers are able to access this provision requires interpretation, but broadly speaking you need to meet the following criteria.

You have children who attend a school impacted by the UK Government closure announcement and:
• you need to go to work to carry out essential duties as a key worker, or need to work from home where it’s not possible to continue working as you’ll have very young children at home.
• you have exhausted all other sustainable childcare options as an alternative to schools (e.g. non-vulnerable partners, family members or trusted friends supporting with childcare, or children at an age when they can stay safely at home on their own).

It’s important to note that this guidance and support is in place as a last resort only. Priority will be given to those responding directly to the coronavirus threat, such as National Health Service workers. Therefore, even those classified as key workers may not necessarily receive school places.

Only those who can answer “yes” to being a key worker and the two questions above should contact the school to request provision. The decision on whether we can provide this for you will be made by the head teacher. Be aware that we have to make tough decisions in this regard, based on the information available to us at this time.

In the first instance please complete the survey. Provision would be available from 9am to 3.30pm, starting on this coming Monday.

Key worker survey for parents/carers

If you are a key worker, then you may be eligible to send your child to school during the school closure. The school is required to remain open and provide education to children in these circumstances. The school will be open from 8.45am to 3.15pm. We will not be providing breakfast or after school club. If your child is in school they will need a packed lunch as the school kitchen will not be open. Uniform is not required.

It is important to stress that every child who can stay at home absolutely must, and many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. However this may not be possible and there is provision to support you.

Unsure if you’re a key worker?

Visit this page for guidance from the Government on what a key worker is: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Unsure if you’re a key worker that can get support?

Please take the online  survey below which is designed to help families are identifying themselves as keyworkers and get support from the school.  It will also give us an idea of the number of children who may be seeking provision from next week.

Before you complete the survey, please bear these principles in mind:

  • If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  • If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them. You will already have been contacted regarding this.
  • Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  • Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  • Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

Click here to take the survey.

Coronavirus update

Update for Friday 20th March

Key Messages for Schools and Parents

• Schools and the Local Authority are working closely together to ensure we are able to meet the priorities as set out by the government.
• In Devon, we have already taken the approach that for next week (w/c 23rd March) the majority of schools will remain open to provide a safe place for vulnerable children and those of key workers.
• Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children, those with education, health and care (EHC) plans and some others recognised as vulnerable by the Local Authority and school.
• Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings will continue to care for children wherever possible. Schools will continue to liaise with parents about these arrangements.
• Information about closed schools can be found the on the DCC website. The school will inform parents of alternative arrangements for vulnerable children and key workers should they need to close. The Local Authority will also help co-ordinate this work but the school is the first source of information as local arrangements with other schools are being put in place. A Local Authority contact number will be set up to offer advice to parents.
• Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home.
• The DfE advise that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be and they request we follow these key principles:

o If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
o Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
o Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.

• Children with at least one parent or carer who are identified as critical workers by the government can send their children to school if required.
• A list of key workers is provided by the DfE and can be found at this link.
• Schools will be confirming, later today or next week, information regarding parents’ keyworker role and if a parent intends to send their child to school this may include filling in an online form. Please refer to school level information for this.
• Current transport arrangements will continue to be provided for children attending school this week and next week for currently entitled children from the above lists. These will, until after Easter, follow current timetables wherever possible.
• Families will be notified by individual schools or transport providers of any exceptions to the above.
• Information of any changes after Easter will be posted on the DCC website and via schools later next week or over the holidays
• Families are asked to look at individual school websites and their school’s usual communication methods for other local updates and information.
• We are currently working with Early Years settings, special schools and FE colleges and will aim to provide further information for these age groups later today.
• Early years providers will give more information through the early years digest.
• We also aim to publish a list of frequently asked questions.

The DfE have also provided easy to follow guidance to parents on this and a range of issues. The information can be found here.

Click here for the key worker survey.

Devon County Council Covid19 webpage.

Parents on the key workers list should follow the first principle of keeping their children at home if it all possible from Monday onwards, and to only send them to school if there is no safe alternative. Ppease be aware that this is not business as usual. We will, however, do our best to provide continuity of learning for all children whether at home or in school. We are working to an incredibly tight timescale to turn round this provision and we would ask everybody to show patience and understanding in this extremely challenging situation.

Thursday 19th March

We are currently making preparations for school closure and are working with the DfE as more guidance and legislation is brought forward. We will keep this page and our website up to date as we know more.

This is an unprecedented situation for all of us, so please be patient and we will keep you informed as best we can.

 

Coronavirus statement

You will no doubt be aware of the Coronavirus that originated in China, but has now reached the UK. While there is no formal guidance for schools from Public Health England we are monitoring the outbreak, which has been described as a “public health emergency of international concern” by the WHO. Please be assured that we will take any appropriate action swiftly should it be required in order to maintain the health and safety of children, staff and public.

Rackenford Primary School gives back to the community this Christmas

It’s not only Santa who will be giving gifts in Rackenford this Christmas! Rackenford Primary School near Tiverton is giving back to the community this festive season. Pupils have been getting creative to make their very own Christmas wreaths and Christingles to be gifted to those who live in the village.

Children in each year group collected various festive items including cinnamon sticks, walnuts, dried fruits and ribbon to create the wreaths, made out of fir boughs, and oranges were brought in from home to construct hand-made Christingles. The children will hand out the creations to the local community, including the elderly.

Sarah Maude, Headteacher at Rackenford Primary School, said: “As a small village school we always look to involve the local community where possible.

“Getting the children to create their own wreaths and Christingles and give them to those in our community is a fantastic way of including those who may otherwise be left out this Christmas.”

Rackenford Tales

For the past few months, ITV Westcountry cameras have been visiting Rackenford, hearing the stories of the people who live here and finding out what makes a rural Westcountry village tick. They even visited our little school to find out what sets our school apart and why parents choose to send their kids to the ‘small school on the hill’.

Watch the four part series here…  ITV Westcountry Rackenford Tales

Bramble meets ITV

On Tuesday 26th, ITV Westcountry met our new Federation of Tiverton Schools ‘school dog’, Bramble. They were able to hear about the benefits of having Bramble in lessons, and spoke to Mrs Crook about how she will be used to help students across the Federation schools with anxiety or mental health issues.