St Helena School

Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3LE 

Email: contact@st-helena.essex.sch.uk

Phone: 01206 572253

The Sigma Trust t/a St Helena School

Walton Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 6DZ

Registered Company No:  07926573

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As you are aware from today, 20 March 2020, the school will be closed for all but a small proportion of pupils; those who are children of key workers and those who have been identified as vulnerable. Those students who have an EHCP or those who have an identified social worker. All students with an EHCP have already been contacted by the School SENCO regarding arrangements for next week and if provision is required. Our Pastoral team have already contacted families where the child has an allocated Social Worker and we are aware of those in need of provision.

The Government has finally produced a critical worker list and to guide parents regarding school closures. The list is far more extensive than expected and it is clear that schools would not be able to accommodate the children of all parents that fall in to these categories should they decide to send them in. The key point to note from the Government is:

'Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.'

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, they should be.

Currently, we are working with a much-reduced number of staff and over the coming weeks I suspect that this could be reduced further. I am so grateful to all of my staff for their willingness to help at this difficult time. They themselves have now been classed as critical workers and everyone who is fit enough to work will support their fellow key workers.

The clear advice from Government is that we need to increase social distancing and we will therefore have to limit the numbers we can admit and prioritise according to need. Therefore, we will only be able to offer a school place to students in Years 7 and 8. Due to the number of unknown quantities of staff available and students attending, coupled with the rapidly changing environment around us, I ask for your understanding at this time.

Please only send your child into school if you are a key frontline worker (health, social care, emergency services and education only). Please be reminded that key government principle "If at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be."

To read the letter sent to parents today including the list of key workers please click here.

My team and I wish you all the very best in these uncertain times. Keep safe and keep well.

 

Fiona Pierson

Headteacher