Wednesday 1st April, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing once again at the end of term 4 after what has been the most challenging couple of weeks for us all. I am speaking to many of you and others in the local area who are all saying how proud I am of our school and our community. We all have a part to play to support each other and the NHS and other key workers who are in the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am immensely proud of everything that the Cliftonville community is achieving as part of national efforts to save lives. I am especially proud of our staff. We are living through unprecedented and challenging times and it doesn’t matter who you are, we are all susceptible to being stressed and worried for each other’s health and that of our families. It is important perhaps to remember that Cliftonville staff are putting aside these feelings to support our community.
As we have stated from the beginning the safest place for your child is at home and as we move from the Easter holidays into term 5, when we shall be returning to Cliftonville, I urge you again to remember that the provision at Cliftonville is only a LAST RESORT. If there is another family member at home, then the children should stay at home.
As clearly stated by the Government “..Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place, so long as their job cannot be done from home…..Many parents working in these sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading..”
Moving into term 5 we will be asking parents who sign up for provision to show some simple evidence that they are a critical worker, such as confirmation from their employer on what their job is and how it is critical to the COVID-19 response. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly so we can ensure our provision and support for our key workers is not putting undue risk to our own staff and secondly to ensure that we only have on site those for whom it is the last resort for parents and therefore minimising the risk for our whole community by further reducing the number of social interactions.
I believe we all recognise that this situation is not going to improve overnight and it is likely to take some time to get back to ‘normal’. Therefore, this is the long game and as such we all need to ensure that we look after and support each other for the future.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who are continuing to support your children at home, working through the daily timetable of activities as well as trying to do your own jobs. These are difficult times and our staff are in the same position as you- please take strength from that and know we are all in this together.
Take care and keep safe,