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St Josephs Primary School, Slate Street, Belfast
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Update 9.18pm, Key worker provision

22nd Mar 2020

Update 9.18pm 22/3/20 Key worker provision

The staff of St Joseph’s PS Slate Street will be meeting tomorrow to carry out a risk assessment and determine which staff do not have underlying health issues themselves or care for a family member with underlying health issues as well as a number of other considerations to determine if we will be able to open school from Tuesday in order to provide childcare for children of a key worker parent.

However as stated in our previous correspondence the situation is changing rapidly. At this moment in time due to lack of clarity provided by the DE around school closure/opening we will have no option but to review this on a daily basis.

Over the past few days many concerns and issues have been raised.

School opening has not been risk assessed by the DE or EA;

Protective resources have been sourced but have not been provided to schools;

We have not been provided with adequate guidance with how to carry out social distancing procedures.

We therefore feel compelled to reinforce the following points.

1. School is now officially CLOSED.

Schools are officially closed to ensure social separation, to restrict transmission of the Coronavirus and to keep our children and staff safe.

2. ALL parents should now make provision to keep their children at home.

3. Children should NOT be in school.

THE SAFEST PLACE FOR CHILDREN IS IN THEIR OWN HOMES.

4. Our school will only be open for children where one PARENT is a KEY WORKER. This is to facilitate them getting back to work to fight the virus.

The children of key workers should only be sent to school when there is NO OTHER OPTION AVAILABLE TO THEM.

Where a second parent is not a keyworker, they should provide care for their children.

5. All children, who have underlying health concerns should NOT be in school.

We must be clear:

We want a minimum of staff and a minimum of pupils in school at any one time.

If we are to practise social distancing, the less children we have in school the safer we will all be.

Nurses, doctors medical teams etc. are doing an amazing job, let’s help them by not sending more infected people to their wards.

We will risk assess and review this provision on a daily basis. We cannot emphasise enough that the safest place for our children is at home and that using this facility is only for those who have exhausted every other option.

We wish you all every God’s blessing and may the prayers of St Joseph, patron saint of our school keep us, our families and our wider school community safe now and in the days ahead.
Thank you
Miss Weir