Frequently Asked Questions
I hope you are all keeping safe and well at this difficult time.
Taking the decision to close a school is one of the most difficult decisions any headteacher can make. We spoke to the LA and other local schools to make sure that we kept the safety and best interests of our students and staff at the forefront of our decisions and plans.
Many school leaders have been asked sensible, practical questions and we are sharing our answers to the most frequent questions below:
Why did the school close?
On Friday 20 March, the national government guidance was for schools to close to all pupils. The only exceptions being vulnerable pupils and those children with parents regarded as critical workers, actively fighting the Covid-19 who require emergency childcare provision. Even then, if your child could remain at home, they should. Unfortunately, our school caretaker was unable to work beyond March 19, which then affected the safety of our site. At a time when deep cleaning exercises were essential, we could not guarantee the safety of our pupils or staff and therefore had to close the school.
What happens if I need emergency childcare?
If an emergency does arise and you are unable to ensure your child’s safety at home, parents are asked to contact the headteacher, Mrs Helen Roberts via her school email, firstname.lastname@example.org when provision will be provided at Tuxford Academy. This email is essential to ensure that sufficient staffing is in place to meet with the appropriate regulations regarding ratio. Tuxford Academy are offering provision from 9.00am to 3.15pm, excluding bank holidays and weekends.
How often will the school be updating messages on the website?
We will update the messages on the website as the situation changes. In addition, we will add links to further documents when it is appropriate.
Is work being set for our pupils?
Staff are working incredibly hard to post lessons and resources on Class Dojo and Office Teams and many pupils are receiving extremely individualised learning support due to differing levels of access and demands. We have also created a rich library of online learning resources which you will find on our website:
How will the school keep in touch with my child during term time?
Each of our class teachers have been making contact with you and your child at home through our Dojo system and Office teams, to see how they are getting along. Parents and pupils also have the opportunity to message their class teacher regarding any work being set or any concerns you have. The Headteacher is in contact with all staff on a daily basis and being kept informed of any communication where additional support is required. She can also be contacted on this email directly by parents, should this be necessary:
How can I contact school if I have concerns about my child’s learning/development?
In the first instance, contact your child’s class teacher on Class Dojo or Office Teams. If the concern continues, contact the headteacher on email@example.com
What will happen with statutory testing?
All SATs and screening tests have been cancelled.
What do I do if there is a safeguarding concern?
In the case of a safeguarding concern whilst the school is closed, there are a number of contact details:
New referrals: 0115 8041272
The Government have also created safeguarding documents for you to access:
There are conflicting messages on social media – what should I believe?
It is important that you only rely on official school communication that is carried on the website, on Class Dojo, Office Teams and on official emails from staff.
Sources of information:
BBC News: www.bbc.com\news
NHS Website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
NHS 111 website: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
There is a considerable amount of misinformation and disinformation in circulation and it is important that families question the validity of what they are reading if it is not from a school source.
What happens with all the planned trips, fixtures and events?
At the moment, we are unable to say if trips will be on and are waiting for the latest government guidance. However, if trips are cancelled, parents will receive a full refund including deposits.
How will the school calendar change going forward?
Calendar changes are likely due to events being cancelled or if there has been a need to move events. However, this will have to be managed on an ongoing basis. It may be possible that some events will be postponed or cancelled for this academic year and these decisions will be taken on a case by case basis. These decisions will be communicated as appropriate.
How is absence due to the situation being recorded?
School closures are recorded centrally. The code Y is issued to denote pupils unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances. The local authority has been notified that our school has closed.
When the school reopens will it be business as usual?
It is too soon to say on this and a view will be taken and communicated nearer the time based on the best advice and guidance.
Is it possible to access the school site if there is a need?
The school is closed so therefore there will be no access.
How is school transport affected?
The school has notified the relevant companies and will continue to liaise with them over closures and a future reopening.
Will the school be deep cleaned while it is closed?
There is no evidence that anyone at the school had the virus nor that the virus was in school whilst it was still open. However, we have organised a deep clean as a precautionary measure only.
What happens when the school reopens for people with pre-existing medical conditions that may be more susceptible to coronavirus?
We will be checking our current records and asking all people to take responsibility to ensure that the details held by the school are accurate, correct and up to date. If there is a need, there will be healthcare plans and risk assessments completed. As the school prepares to reopen at a later date, we will reassess the situation based on the best advice and guidance at the time.
We hope that you have found this useful. Please continue to take excellent care of yourselves and your families. We appreciate all the work you are doing to continue to support your child’s education at this extremely difficult time.
Mrs Helen Roberts