Further Update on Castle School plans - School closed 5th and 6th January 2021

Following the announcement  by Boris Johnson last night (4th Jan 2021) we will now be moving to a model of reduced pupil and staff numbers from Thursday this week. The new variant of Covid-19 is between 50% and 70% more transmissible and, as Boris Johnson stated last night, schools are vectors of transmission. As such, I am duty bound to ensure that I make significant adjustments to make sure everyone is kept safe. This will mean that unfortunately, the majority of pupils will have to stay home at the current time as with the vast majority of pupils in the UK.

We will be looking to offer as many places as we can to pupils of parents who are critical workers as well as our most vulnerable pupils. The number of places we can offer will be based entirely on being able to cater safely for the pupils and ensuring that we have enough staff to safely support the pupils in our care. Over the next two days during our closure (Tues 5th and Wed 6th Jan) we will be contacting parents of pupils who we can offer a place to.

As I am sure you will understand, my first duty is to ensure the safety of everyone in my school and at present, with this new highly contagious variant of Covid-19, I do not believe it is safe to have all our pupils and staff back in school all together.

I understand that many parents will be very anxious about the current situation and will not want to send their child back to school yet even if they are offered a place. It is very important for me to state that no parents will be penalised for making this choice. We will support you wholeheartedly.

These continue to be very difficult times and I want to be as supportive as I can to everyone, pupils and staff alike and will let you know our plans as they are finalised.

For now, thank you for your continued support in this challenging time and take care,

Jon Hewitt