I hope this email finds you safe and well.
Over the coming days/weeks one of the challenges that schools are facing across the country is staffing. At Woodfield, we are doing everything we can to keep childcare open for key workers and any vulnerable children, but we also from a public health perspective have to keep staffing to a minimumin order to be socially distancing. We have had very few children in (approximately 3-5 each day), with 3 staff (plus a cleaner, plus a site manager - 5 staff in total). Many schools across the country have closed already, either due to not being able to staff the school properly, or that they don't have any children coming in.
As you know, we have a handful or so of children that will probably need to continue coming into school, and we obviously want to continue providing childcare for them. There will become a point in the near future where we will be struggling to stay open - staff having to be in self-isolation/staff ill with the virus. We are anticipating this to be over the Easter holidays and bank holidays too.
Many schools are beginning to 'team' together to provide childcare to address some of these issues. By collaborating with other schools/another school I believe we will be able to pool together resources to ensure we can remain open and support the Woodfield families that need us most.
Having spoken with the governors and the Local Authority, we have made the decision that we need to team up with Grove Road. As of Monday, we are going to be sending one member of staff to Grove Road to work with the children there from Woodfield.
We will also be ensuring that this childcare will hopefully be able to continue through whatever lies ahead with Covid 19. The situation is changing so quickly - this move makes sense so that we are prepared for when we hit the peak of the virus. People's individual situations will be changing rapidly too. We will all have our own personal circumstances to work around whilst continuing to do our jobs, and so I think it is vital that we protect the workload and well-being of the staff too - again, by pooling resources with Grove Road we will be reducing workload for the staff that are able to continue giving this vitally important childcare.
Grove Road have got a small amount of children in too. I don't think it will be long before other schools in Harrogate start to join this 'teaming' up effort - it is happening to many schools across the UK already.
I hope this will work well for Woodfield parents because it's still within walking distanceand there will always be a member of Woodfield staff at Grove Road. Other Harrogate schools have been suggested to us but we think Grove Road is the best option for our children. With my connection to Grove Road I will be able to work closely with Chris Parkhouse, the Headteacher, to support Woodfield children whilst they're there, plus continuing to coordinate work with the Woodfield staff.
I hope that all makes sense and that you agree that this is a sensible way forward.
If your child is continuing to require care next week and in the future, the school day will be starting at 8.30 and finishing at 3. Your child will be greeted at the main entrance to Grove Road by a member of Woodfield staff. Communication with the Woodfield staff will resume as normal, although instead of the school office being open daily we will be using a mobile phone. We will be sharing that number with you soon so that you can contact us if you have any concerns or require support. The school email, [email protected], will be operated as normal. The Grove Road office will also be open for parents using the childcare to phone as of Monday should you so wish. The number is 01423 506060.
This arrangement will be in place for the foreseeable future.
If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail before the end of the week, please email us or phone the school office as normal.