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William Ford C of E Junior School | Ford Road | Dagenham | RM10 9JS
Tel: 0208 270 6582 | Email: Office@Williamfordschool.co.uk
Headteacher: Mr David Huntingford
Two week closure of William Ford C of E Junior School
Please accept my apologies for writing to you on New Year’s Eve. I am sure like me, many of you will be glad to see the back of 2020 and look forward with growing hope and optimism to a better 2021. This outgoing year has been dominated by the dreadful impact of COVID-19 which has touched us all in many different ways. However, with the news yesterday of a second approved vaccine let us hope and pray that soon coronavirus will be consigned to history and we can start returning to normality.
Following the Education Secretary’s announcement in Parliament, I am sorry to inform you that the school will be closed until at least 18th January 2021 for all pupils except for the following:
• Children who are considered vulnerable. This means they have an Educational Healthcare Plan or an allocated social/early help worker. Children in this category are required to attend school everyday or should inform us if there is a good reason for them to remain at home.
• Children of critical workers. There is a strict list of what constitutes a critical worker that can be accessed by clicking here.
For these children, school will begin at 8:45am and finish at 3:15pm. We will only be using the main gate by Village Infant School and will be trying to keep children within their class bubbles as much as possible. As there will be very few children in school, there is no need to wear school uniform.
For those families who plan to send their children into school, please do let us know so we can ensure we have enough staff available. Please complete the following form:
We also ask that children who will be attending school undertake a COVID-19 test this Saturday by attending one of the borough’s test centres. This can be booked using the following link and selecting the option ‘My local authority has asked me to have a test.’
If your child has previously tested positive within the last 90 days,then there is no requirement for a test to be taken.
If the test is positive or your child (or any one in their family bubble) develops symptoms, then your child must stay away from school. By coming into school, there is a high risk that your child will pass the virus onto other children and adults which would further disrupt education and potentially limit the amount of critical workers who can attend their employment. Even if your child does not show symptoms, there is a risk that those they pass the virus on to become seriously ill.
For all other pupils, we will be offering around four hours a day ofonline learning which we expect pupils to access. We will contact families who do not access online learning to see if we can address any problems. We are also planning to upload video/audio clips of our staff explaining the learning and task which can be accessed when it is convenient for families. This is safer and more convenient than Zoom for families who have multiple children, limited devices or families who cannot commit to children being online at specific times. We will also endeavour to have a member of staff who can be contacted in school if you have any technical problems. This is still being finalised and I will send out another letter with regards to online learning on Monday.
I can fully appreciate that this announcement will cause mixed emotions and a certain amount of difficulty and frustration for all involved. To find this out on 30th December, and with the start of the new term just around the corner, has given us little time to react and plan accordingly. However, I am confident that once again we will be able to rise to this challenge and ensure that both children attending school and those accessing remote learning from home will be very well catered for.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!
Mr. David Huntingford