Trust Statement on School Operation in response to COVID-19

South Bank MAT is a family of schools that cares deeply about the needs of its pupils and staff and the communities we serve.

The national demands being made on us all at this time can be challenging and at times frightening. The efforts of our staff to keep the schools running, and look after the children in our care, have been nothing short of heroic.

Some people will find it difficult to adjust to the removal of the daily routine of school and the exam structure but the health of the nation is paramount.

It has been promised that all children in Year 11 will be assessed without sitting exams in the coming weeks, we are awaiting further information. Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs have also been cancelled. 

Our schools will remain open to the children of key workers and those that are vulnerable in line with local arrangements and if at all practicable.

Many parents working in key worker sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home and every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.

Please, therefore, follow these key principles:

  1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
  2. 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.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents (over 70), friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. 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.

Vulnerable children are those who are:

  • supported by social care, 
  • have safeguarding and welfare needs, 
  • have child in need plans, 
  • on child protection plans, 
  • are ‘looked after’ children, 
  • are young carers, 
  • are disabled children or,
  • have education, health and care (EHC) plans. 

The government have stated if you work within one of the critical sectors listed in the link below and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

The government have asked workers to confirm with their employers if they think their role falls within the key worker categories above. The role should be specifically required for the continuation of essential public services.

Arrangements are being put in place to maintain access to free schools meals during the closure period in line with government guidance. Your child’s school will be able to update you regarding these arrangements.

I wish you and your loved ones all the very best at this difficult time.

 Kind regards

Edwin Thomas

Chair of Trustees 

 Jo Edwards

Trust Principal