URGENT UPDATE 30th May 2020
Good morning. After a sleepless night and a lot of thought and discussion with governors and senior staff, I must refer all community members to the SAGE minutes and Public Health England reports which state that:
- A delay to the wider opening of school for two weeks is likely to reduce the rate of infections in schools by half
- Bedford Borough has the highest cases per 100,000 people in the Eastern region (370 per 100K) and this also places us very high nationally
When making difficult decisions about the school I have always asked myself – is it good enough for my child? If the answer is ‘no’ then it isn’t good enough for any child. But on this occasion I have to be honest, although my daughter is not entitled to be in school, given the information above and the choice, I wouldn’t send her.
We’ve made all the best preparations we can and the whole school staff have been incredible in supporting the plans – I couldn’t praise them enough. Despite this I am not confident that we can keep the youngest children in school socially distanced and this raises the risk of infection.
For this reason I have made the difficult decision to admit only the Year 6 bubbles on Monday and delay the entry of children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. This is a judgement call on my part and I know, and respect, that some of you will disagree with my decision and for some, it is going to make your back to work arrangements extremely difficult. Weighing up all the factors I still have to conclude that this is too great a risk for the sake of a fortnight.
The governors, the senior team and I will reconsider this for Monday 15th June entry, based upon data and scientific advice released between then and now. I also think that the full establishment of the government track and trace system will give us more confidence to open the school further, but as yet it is still in it’s early stages.
I apologise wholeheartedly for the inconvenience this will cause many of you, particularly as this has been such a late decision. The only plus side is that our plans are so well formed and additional resourcing and protection equipment all purchased, that we will be ready to go as soon as the time is right.
Thank you for your understanding and please do remember that whilst lockdown has been eased Bedford still has a higher infection rate, be wise with your plans this weekend.
Very best wishes