**Headteacher Update 19th May 2020**
Today I have issued a letter outlining the school response to government proposed plans to open primary schools from 1st June 2020. This response has been sent to the parents of both Settle Primary and Kirkby Malham Primary electronically and a copy has been attached below.
With best wishes
**Headteacher Update 15th May 2020**
As you will be aware, last week the government proposed that schools across England should begin to open to certain year groups from the week beginning 1st June 2020. It is expected that key worker and vulnerable child care continue.
Since then guidance has been released to schools almost on a daily basis. Some of this guidance has been further revised to add in extra details.
There have been intense national discussions involving the Unions and exploring the science behind the government proposals. There has also been a lot of conflicting and inaccurate information that has been circulated in the media.
Changing, frequently revised and often conflicting messages make the planning of a return extremely challenging.
All schools want to stay within the law and to do their best for pupils, parents and staff. Everyone wants to get back to some normality, but the way we achieve this has got to be properly thought through or there may be unintended, negative consequences in the long term.
Please note that our school will only re-open classes if we believe that in doing so we can fully carry out our duty of care to children and staff.
The week beginning the 18th May I will propose a plan to senior leaders and governors of both schools for the safe return of pupils based on the information available to me at that point.
Follow up risk assessments will continue to be carried out and all this information will be shared with staff and parents toward the end of that week.
I hope that the plan will provide staff and parents with a process for when the conditions are right for the re-opening a particular class.
Note that each school will adopt strategies that are a best fit for their premises and their school community. If and/or when we re-open classes: timetables, class sizes and general provision will likely also be very different to what ‘normally’ happens in school.
Be mindful that it is misleading to suggest, as many media outlets are implying, that all the children in Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six will be automatically returning the week beginning 1st June.
We will open up a class only when we believe it is safe and we are ready to do so and we have a responsibility to make sure that whatever we do, it is in full compliance with the law, including various employment laws and in particular the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
In the absence of statutory guidelines, we will seek to use our own professional expertise to decide which classes should open.
I will not penalise parents who do not wish their child to attend or who have family circumstances in which their child or family is at unnecessary risk.
With best wishes and thanking you for your ongoing support at this unprecedented time,