Garratt Park School is now fully closed
It is with great regret, and some relief, that I have decided to close Garratt Park School to all, at least until after the Easter Holidays.
There are a number of reasons for this:
- Following the government’s decision to close schools, and to accommodate only children who were particularly vulnerable or who had parents or carers in critical jobs, eighteen students were invited to come to school. On Monday 23rd March, only eight children attended, because parents took the decision to have them at home. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that evening, this was reduced to two. These two families have now agreed to make arrangements to keep their children at home.
- When schools were partially closed, we already had several staff who were self-isolating. I decided at that point that we would need only a small number of staff. I therefore instructed staff who travelled by public transport, who had children under the age of 13 or with significant SEND, who had underlying medical conditions or lived with people who were elderly or unwell, that they should not come to school. Given the character of my staff, of whom I am extremely proud, it was not surprising that more turned up than we needed, even when a rota was implemented. However, since then, many further staff have become unwell, or are in households with someone who is unwell. We now have around a dozen staff who remain well and are able to come to school, and I fully expect this number to fall further in the near future.
- Finally, given the Prime Minister’s instructions yesterday, I simply cannot justify asking staff to come into work and risk becoming infected in school or on their way to or from school.
The following arrangements have already been implemented by the staff of Garratt Park School:
- All students have been given log-ins to Google Classroom, and work has been put up on the website in most subjects. If you do not have a log-in, please email the school on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Tutors (or senior staff if tutors become unavailable) will email or telephone parents and carers at least weekly to check on welfare and to find out how the students are getting on with home-learning.
- Safeguarding staff will also email or telephone vulnerable families at least weekly.
My advice to families at this difficult time is to:
- Do whatever you can to keep safe and well.
- Keep in contact with the school whenever you need to: with your child’s tutor or Key Stage Lead, or with a member of the Leadership Group (including me).
- Avoid using Google Classroom excessively: children will need exercise and a variety of activities to keep their minds lively and happy.
- Remember, every day, that this will end.
My very best wishes to all of you, and grateful thanks to my courageous and generous staff, who have stood by their students, each other and me throughout this ordeal. See you soon!