Dear Parents and Carers
I have taken the very serious step of closing Fairmead School with immediate effect. This has been an extremely difficult decision to make but I hope you understand my reasons for taking it.
Staffing is the most important aspect of the safe running of any school and even more so in a special school. After yesterday’s government announcement, today we are in a situation where a significant number of staff are having to follow social distancing measures. As headteacher of Fairmead School it is imperative that I am able to ensure the safety of our pupils and students when on our site and I cannot do this under current staffing circumstances.
Further, we have a number of children in Fairmead with complex and multiple health risks. Again, the government advice is slightly vague but the latest guidance says:
We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
This guidance effectively suggests that all the pupils in a special school with a learning disability should be under stringent social distancing measures.
Safeguarding the welfare and education of our learners is our priority and this does not change now that the school is closed. We have put together a plan designed to provide you with as much support as we are able.
- Fairmead offers a school text service which will be used to update parents and carers as information becomes available.
- Our main way of sending you longer information will be through email on ParentMail.
- If you need to speak to Mrs Felstead of Mrs Barratt, please call the school telephone number (09135 421295) and follow the instructions given.
- Pupils will be supplied with packs of work to complete at home along with details of online learning platforms. These will be posted to you before the end of the week.
- Your child’s tutor will be in telephone contact with you weekly during term-time.
- Your main point of contact will be the school office email address; messages will then be forwarded to your child’s class teacher or in emergencies a member of the senior leadership team. The school office email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember our staff also have families that will have additional commitments linked to school closures. We will not always be able to reply to you immediately. In the event of any medical enquiry please follow government advice.
We are committed to doing everything we can to support you and your family within the constraints of this national and global challenge.
This is a quickly developing situation and we will be continuously reviewing it throughout this week to see if we can restructure to meet needs. We will keep you informed as to future decisions as we arrive at them.
Thank you for your understanding.