12 May 2020

Dear Staff and Parents,

Following the many announcements made yesterday, after the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday evening, one thing is absolutely clear; watching the dust settle over the next few days will be important for our future decision making. What is also clear is that the general response to the lack of clarity in comparison with the previous message of “Stay at Home > Protect the NHS > Save Lives”, suggests that we need much more guidance. There is simply not enough information in the public domain yet to make any sensible decision about re-opening schools with all the appropriate reassurances in place to our whole community about safety and well being. What I can absolutely reassure all staff and parents of, is that as the Headteacher I am working closely with Leadership colleagues across the Trust, and with West Berkshire Local Authority colleagues every day to make the best possible decisions for our school and our community, and to ensure that no member of staff, student or family within our community is put at unnecessary risk, whilst balancing the huge desire to return to our school and take some positive steps forward.

In the meantime, although some employees are being encouraged to return to work, the school is still open only for vulnerable pupils and the children of critical workers. We know some employers will be encouraging you to return to work, but we’re not in a position right now to extend places to other children until we receive further government guidance. The Prime Minister during his briefing last night made it clear that he expected employers to fully understand the position of employees who were caring for young children at home.

Finally, we will be seeking further clarity of guidance at every turn, but will be planning in the background for all eventualities. I will, as ever, share information with you at every stage as we navigate this very difficult pathway.

Mrs Halliday