Coronavirus Notice

COVID19 Updates

Note from DfE 2nd April 2020:

Guidance on the induction of NQTs during COVID19:

We have published guidance on the induction of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We recognise that the current situation will impact on the number of absences newly qualified teachers take this academic year.

We will be making regulatory changes that, subject to parliamentary agreement, will mean that NQTs absent for reasons related to coronavirus (COVID-19) will not have their induction period automatically extended.

Details of the regulatory changes being made, and a series of frequently asked questions, can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-induction-for-newly-qualified-teachers

Updated guidance on early years and childcare closures

We have updated our guidance on early years and childcare closures for local authorities, early years settings and childminders. This update provides clarification on the income support available and the requirements for providing safe, quality care for vulnerable and critical workers’ children.

The guidance can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

Update on national voucher scheme for schools providing free school meals

On Tuesday 31 March, we announced that schools can provide children eligible for benefits-related free school meals with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 while schools are closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Schools can continue to provide meals for collection or delivery themselves, but where this is not possible, the scheme will allow schools to provide vouchers to families electronically, or as a gift card for those without internet access.

If schools have not received their activation email from the Department for Education’s supplier, Edenred, they should check their ‘junk’ folders before contacting the DfE helpline on 0800 046 8687.

Once verified, schools will receive an activation email containing a step-by-step user guide to ordering vouchers.

Full details of this scheme can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Reminder to submit the daily online attendance return to the Department for Education

Settings should continue to submit their daily online attendance form throughout the Easter holidays. Your data helps us build a national picture of educational provision so that we can focus support more effectively, monitor the impact of the virus, and ensure children are safe.

The online form can be found at:

·         https://form.education.gov.uk/service/educational-setting-status

The information below has not changed since yesterday.

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can now be found in one place on GOV.​UK at:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings

Our main guidance for schools, the ‘school closures guidance’, will be regularly kept up-to-date. Any new advice for schools on specific issues, such as food, exams or safeguarding, will be linked from it:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and whenever you return home.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

 

Notice from our CEO on 27th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers ,

SLT met this morning, as I promised,  to consider the possibility of re-instating some provision ; however, I have to inform you that we have decided it would not be safe or healthy so to do and the school and college will remain closed to all young people ( other than our 52 week learners ) until after Easter . The reason for this decision is that we have 137 members of staff ( ~ 40% ) off work  for CV 19 related issues – this now includes me.

Please contact Fran or Karen to discuss any issues with our outreach support .

I am really sorry to send you this information as I know the impact it is having on you and your family.

 

SLT will continue to meet daily next week and over Easter and if there is any possibility of reinstating provision safely we will do this .

With all my best wishes,

Simon.

 

 

Notice from our CEO on 24th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers,

The senior leadership team of St. John’s met this morning and we considered the whole range of government guidance including last night’s statement by the Prime Minister and we   agreed the following :

  • Owing to substantial staffing problems and concerns around maintaining a healthy and safe learning and working environment that we will continue to remain open for 52 week placements but closed for day placements and all non-52 week placements
  • This closure is likely to remain in place until after the Easter Holidays ( other than for our 52 week placements )
  • We will carry out one further risk assessment on the morning of Friday March 27th to ascertain if we can provide any limited placements for the final week of term
  • We will continue to offer outreach/virtual  support to families and please contact Karen Grist or Fran Pass if you have any queries concerning this outreach/virtual  support
  • You should get twice daily contact from  the School and College if your son/daughter’s placement is currently suspended .

My colleagues and I are  distressed and upset to have to make this statement as we know the impact this will have on your family life .

We are having to make decisions on an hourly and daily basis so I cannot give you as much certainty as you would want for the future .

 

With all my best wishes,

 

Simon

 

Notice from our CEO on 19th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many of you will have heard the announcement from the Government about schools and colleges remaining open for young people  with Education, Health and Care Plans and also for the children of  key workers.

My senior colleagues and I met this morning to consider this   issue as our belief was that the announcement was framed for, and intended for,   mainstream schools with a proportionately small number of children with EHCPs.

We don’t believe the announcement  fully appreciated the situation for schools and colleges such as St. John’s  where 100% of the young people have EHCPs and where the needs of the young people do not allow different teaching groups to be established and unfamiliar faces to carry out the teaching, therapy and care.

We are continuing to assess the situation and to monitor staffing levels on  a daily basis.

Much of the distress for staff is that they know the impact these decisions are having on you and your families.

As of Thursday 19th March at 15.00  the situation remains as set out in my earlier message to you on this website.

  1. Day learners at the School and College are to remain at home until further notice
  2. Residential learners ( not  on 52 week placements ) will go home on Friday 20th March at the end of the education day until further notice
  3. Learners on 52 week placements will remain with us for the foreseeable future  ( this is 20% of our cohort ) .
  • However, every Tuesday at 09.00 and Thursday at 15.00,  we will risk assess our staffing levels and if we can offer any  time-limited  educational sessions at either the School or College we will contact you.
  • Parents who are key workers according to the Government’s definition should contact the Headteacher or Principal .

Any additional educational sessions , and we don’t anticipate there will be many ,  will be offered on a fair and proportionate basis to all families.

Staff will continue to contact you at least daily by phone to support home learning and on-line resources are being made available.

 

These are difficult times and , sadly, I don’t think they will get any easier.

 

With all my best wishes,

 

Simon.

 

 

Notice from our CEO on 17th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers ,

 

Working with my senior colleagues  I  have decided that we need to make some significant changes to the operation of St. John’s School and College.

 

The Covid 19 situation is putting our  learners, families and staff under significant pressure –  although currently we have no confirmed cases of the virus.

 

We are experiencing pressures on staffing which might put our young people and staff   in  a  dangerous situation  and some young people are experiencing symptoms similar to the virus.

 

We are also experiencing some supply chain issues which might impact on food and equipment for the young people in our care.

 

Therefore the following course of action will be implemented :

 

  1. From the end of School and College on Wednesday March 18th all day learners will be asked to stay at home until further notice
  2. From the end of School and College on Friday March 20th all residential learners ( with the exception of our 52 week learners ) will be asked to say at home until further notice
  3. Senior Colleagues will review this situation at 09.00 on Tuesday and 15.00 on Thursday of each subsequent week where we will determine if/when we can fully/partially   reopen the School and College
  4. We will continue to communicate with you via announcements on the website and in the other usual ways.

I am acutely aware that the impact of this decision will be very difficult  for many of you ;  this is not an announcement that any of us at St. John’s wished to be making.

 

Simon.

 

Notice from our CEO on 12th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers,

You will be following all the news coverage and Public Health England advice about the current situation with regard to Covid 19 ( Coronavirus ) .

The situation is dynamic and changing daily.  

I can assure you that we are making contingency plans for as many of the likely scenarios as we can predict up to, and including,  closing the College and School and some of the Residential Houses. 

My senior colleagues and I have an Action Plan and we are reviewing this daily.

As I said on my previous note,  I would strongly  advise you to make contingency plans for all possible eventualities for your son or daughter. 

Please can you follow the  PHE advice and guidance on travel to countries outside of the UK if you are planning any holidays for the Easter period .

 

If you have to contact us during the Easter Holidays please email us on covid19@st-johns.co.uk

We recognize the gravity of the situation for you and your family and will make all possible attempts to keep the work of St. John’s  as normal as possible but it looks very likely that things will change and some actions may be out of our control.

In the interim period please use your usual forms  of contact with us  to gain advice. 

With all my best wishes,

 

Simon 

 

Notice from our CEO 5th March 2020:

Dear Parents and Carers,

Families will rightly be concerned about the possible impact of the COVID 19 virus on the education and care of their children .

I can reassure you that senior colleagues and our lead nurse are considering this matter regularly and that we take it both seriously and proportionately.

We will always be lead by the advice from Public Health England and our default position will be to remain open as normal .

However, I do advise families to consider all possible contingencies which might arise in the future weeks and months in case circumstances beyond our control impact on the smooth running of the school and college and residential houses.

 

Simon.

CEO

St. John's School & College

Contact the school:

Contact the college: