The Castle School is currently closed. Click here to read more.
Dear Carers and Parents,
URGENT - Covid-19 School Closure
We currently find ourselves in unprecedented times given the risk to health that COVID-19 poses. As a school leadership team, we have been working over the past couple of weeks to look at how we can safely open and not only meet the day to day needs of our students but also ensure risk to health remains at a minimum. It has now reached the point where this is not possible.
As a result I am writing to inform you that we will be closed from the end of school on Wednesday (18th March 2020). We would like to reiterate that the wellbeing of all our learners is always at the heart of what we do and this decision has not been made lightly; conversations have taken place with the Leadership Team and the Local Authority. I have also discussed our current situation with the other Headteachers who form part of The BASS (Berkshire Association of Special School) Headteachers’ Group (Addington, Arbourvale, Brookfields, Manor Green, The Avenue and Kennel Lane). Manor Green and Kennel Lane have already closed and the remainder of these schools are currently carrying out their own risk assessments with the majority also closing after Wednesday.
The decision to close the school has been made based on the following factors to ensure the health and safety of our young people and wider school community;
- The vulnerability of our learners; due to underlying health conditions and their learning needs. Strategies suggested by Public Health England and the NHS to keep people safe cannot be rigorously enforced in our setting, for example, we are responsible for a lot of the personal care needs of our young people. The latest guidance states;
‘We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. This group includes those who are:
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds): chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy’
- Colleague absence; As a consequence of a step-up in advice from the government regarding self-isolation and social distancing we find ourselves in a situation whereby a significant number of staff members are currently not in work. The number of suspected cases is very much on the increase and we are certain that the number of staff members and students being off will continue to go up at a rate that is difficult to keep on top of.
Of course, I apologise for the inconvenience this will inevitably cause, but I am sure you will understand the need to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We will be monitoring the ongoing national and local situation as well as colleague absence to make the decision when to reopen the school. We will keep you informed of any updates via text, the school website www.thecastleschoolnewbury.org.uk , and email. I plan to provide our next update on Monday 23rd March.
From tomorrow, additional online learning links will be made available on the school website.
Please stay safe and we look forward to welcoming your child back to school when it is appropriate to do so.