Dear Parent(s) and Carer(s)

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

No doubt you will know that Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, has announced many changes recently regarding schools. Most primary schools across England will open to all pupils next week. However, some local authorities, including Tower Hamlets, have been told that primary schools in their area will not open fully except for vulnerable children and children of key workers – this is due to a high number of COVID-19 cases in the area.

Tower Hamlets have allowed schools to have additional INSET days to prepare for moving to remote learning. Therefore, school will now be closed for INSET days on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th January.

Vulnerable children

We will be contacting parents of vulnerable children by telephone on Monday 4th January to inform them that their children should still attend school.

What should you do if you are a critical worker?

In order to assist in the smooth start to the term, please use the contact form below to inform the school before Tuesday 5th January if you are a critical worker and intend to send your child to school on Wednesday 6th January – please note, you will be required to send proof of your critical work.

Examples of evidence include, but are not limited to:

  1. Work photo ID
  2. Relevant section of your employment contract
  3. A copy of your latest payslip – please redact financial details
We will open from Wednesday 6th January but only to children of critical workers and to children classified as vulnerable.

Unfortunately, all other children will not be allowed to return to school on Wednesday 6th January and must stay at home. We will continue to provide online learning via Google Classrooms.

Questions you may have:

  1. How long will my child have to stay at home and learn remotely? The government has stated that ‘the areas will be reviewed regularly so that schools can reopen at the very earliest moment’. They have also stated that they will review the current situation by January 18th 2021.
  2. Does my child have to complete the online learning? Closing schools is a very last resort. It is essential that your children continues to learn as much as possible throughout this challenging time. If you have any problems accessing Google Classroom or understanding the instructions for the activities and lessons, please email your child’s teacher and they will reply as soon as possible. We hope to re-open fully as soon as possible but in the meantime, please support your child’s learning as much as possible at home. We will make contact with any household for which there is no evidence of work being completed.
  3. I am a critical worker but my partner will be at home. Do I have to send my child in to school? It is your decision whether or not to send your child to school. However, we will make full-time on-site provision available for your child. I am sure you will agree that this provision is preferable to on-line learning. However the decision is yours to make.
  4. My child is classified as vulnerable but I will be at home. Do I have to send my child to school? The government expects vulnerable children to attend full-time on-site provision where it is appropriate for them to do so.
  5. Which gate should I use? Please use the main school gate.
  6. Will the start and end times of the day change? Yes – all children will need to arrive at 9.00 am and home time will be 3.15 pm
  7. Should my child still wear uniform in school? Yes – I would like school to be as normal as possible for all children who do attend.
  8. My child is entitled to free school meals – what will happen about their lunches? We will continue to provide meals for children who are in school and provide weekly food parcels for children who need to remain at home, as we did during the summer.
  9. Are there any other changes that will take place in school? No – I have not been made aware of any other changes required to be implemented in Shapla. Of course, should this change, I shall keep you updated.
Finally… Please support the school community by informing us of your intentions for next Wednesday 6th January, as per the requirements of this letter. Please understand that should you arrive at the gate unexpectedly, your child may not be allowed entry. To avoid disappointment, please inform the school of your intentions in advance of that day.

Thank you once again for your support and understanding throughout this continued time of turmoil and uncertainty. Let us hope that all communities adhere strictly to their tier restrictions in order to curtail the further spread of this dreadful virus.

My understanding is that the sooner the number of cases stops rising, the sooner schools will be allowed to open fully. Please stay safe and look after each other.


    I require a school place for my child during the period of school closures

    Please choose one of the following reasons:

    My child is a 'vulnerable child'My child has an EHC planI am a key worker

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    Alternatively, please contact us via email. Staff will reply as soon as they possibly can within normal school hours, Monday to Friday.

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