One of the largest schools in Southport will undergo a partial closure from tomorrow.
Churchtown Primary School headteachers Mrs and Payne and Mrs Taylor revealed they were making the decision due to the numbers of staff members unavailable due to advice over the Coronavirus outbreak.
They said: “Today we have had a larger number of staff notifying us that they should be self-isolating, some of whom have been sent home or called home within the school day, based on the latest government guidelines.
“By tomorrow, this will substantially reduce our staffing capacity. In these circumstances we would usually seek to close the school but we are very aware of the impact this would have.
“We have therefore been working closely with Endeavour Learning Trust and following discussions the Trust has made the decision to keep the school open for a limited number of children. This will take effect from Thursday 19th March 2020.
“We are asking that families keep their children at home from Thursday 19th March and support them with their learning, unless they fall into one of the categories below:
“A. Parents working within the NHS or providing wider essential and emergency service support The school will remain open for supervised learning from 8.50am until 3.10pm.
“B. Children in receipt of Free School Meals (This is not children in Reception , Y1 and Y2 that receive Universal Infant Free School Meals) The school will remain open for supervised learning from 8.50am until 3.10pm.
“Parents with children in the above categories may choose to keep their child at home.
“Parents who keep their children off during this time will not be fined and the absence will be recorded as an exceptional circumstance.”
Parents and guardians have been asked to let the school know of their intentions so the school can provide adequate staffing.
As from Thursday 19th March resources will be uploaded by staff onto the school website in the ‘Year Group Pages’ section. These resources will be used for home learning.
Children who come to school will be supervised by staff to carry out the home learning packs; there will not be direct teaching taking place and children are likely to be supervised by different members of staff.
Mrs and Payne and Mrs Taylor said: If we have more children in school than we can cater for, on health and safety grounds, we will need to rethink this strategy and update you accordingly.
“We therefore urge you to consider carefully whether you can support home learning in any way, so that we can avoid total school closure where possible.
“We understand how unsettling the current situation is for all our families and will endeavour to continue to support you and the wider community in the best way we can.”