October 16, 2020

Letter to Parents/Carers Regarding Tier 2 COVID Threat

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family are keeping well and I would once again like to thank you for your continued support over the last few months.

I want to write to you today following the announcement that local authority leaders, directors of public health and the government have made the decision to place Erewash into tier 2 of the COVID threat level.

The local circumstances have meant that schools must now abide by safety restrictions prepared in the instance of government intervention in local areas, as is now the case here in Erewash. This therefore applies to OIEA.

Ensuring everyone’s health, safety, and wellbeing, whilst maintaining a consistent education for our students with minimal disruption, has been and continues to be our absolute priority for this academic year. We are closely following all Government and local government guidance, and as a result of our robust contingency planning we already have the necessary preparations in place to appropriately respond to a range of scenarios.

Moving into “Tier 2” will see very little change to how we are already safely operating our school, with various robust and precautionary safety measures in place. We will remain fully open, full time, to all students and staff.

This means that from Monday 19th October, face coverings (masks) must now be worn by all students and staff when moving around the premises, including in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained, in line with Government guidance. We would suggest that students wear face coverings from Monday 19th October as they enter the school site at the gates and their masks need to remain on into their lessons and be removed after sitting in their seating plans. They will put masks on to leave the classrooms and when in corridors or inside for break and lunch, they will wear them also. We will continue to go through hygiene rules with the children as we have been and to ensure that we are checking and reminding throughout the day.

If you are coming to a planned appointment at the academy, you will be expected to wear a mask unless exemptions apply to you. If you are exempt, please make us aware when you check in with reception at the school gate.

Since the return to school this month, we have provided students and staff with the option of wearing a face covering at times during the school day, which many have chosen to do. We are aware some students are exempt from wearing face coverings for medical conditions. If this is the case for your child, and we do not already know, please contact us to leave this message for Mrs Marriott. We ask that they wear their exemption badges or bring their letter to school for Mrs Marriott to log and to ensure all staff know.

Face coverings will now be a uniform requirement until we drop back down to Tier 1 or lower.

The school has a small supply of disposable masks to distribute to those students who are unable to obtain a face covering by Monday. We do expect the use of reusable masks or daily disposables, provided by yourselves, going forward, just as you use when out shopping. Face coverings must be re-usable, as plain as possible, or of the daily disposable variety. It would be useful and hygienic for your children to have a small plastic bag to store their mask in when not wearing it that could be kept in their blazer.  If you have any issues with accessing an appropriate face covering for your child then please do contact the school directly.

We will be continuing to operate the many other robust safety measures we have in place including social distancing, social bubbles, staggered school days, and increased hygiene and cleaning protocols to help limit any spread of the virus.

We do not yet know how long Erewash will be placed into a local lockdown for, or whether we will progress to the further Government Tier 3 which would be implemented should the transmission rate of COVID-19 continue to increase locally.  However, should there be any changes or updates to the current Tier that we are in and the safety requirements, we will contact you immediately.

As you know, we have done all we can to ensure that your child has the best possible start to the new academic year, following an extraordinary few months, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support in helping us do this. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider school community will continue to be our priority, but we will also do everything we can to minimise any disruption to your child’s education. In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours faithfully,

Miss Nia Salt – Principal