Update from The Principal
Please see below a letter sent to parents earlier this week. We will keep our decision under constant review. We believe we have now ensured that all Mary Hare pupils have access to a laptop or device and as you will see below, we are teaching the full curriculum as well as making informal contact with pupils as well.
Please note that from Monday 11th, our much smaller primary school will be open to all families who wish their child to attend.
Arrangements at the Secondary School During Lockdown
As you will know, the Prime Minister addressed the nation earlier this weekt and announced a new lockdown, with schools closing until half term.
However, he also said that vulnerable children would continue to attend and your children count as vulnerable as they have Education and Health Care Plans.
Mary Hare Secondary School is far from being a typical special school. We have over 200 pupils. The vast majority are independent in terms of moving around the campus. The majority share bedrooms, bathrooms, common rooms and kitchens. Having heard the seriousness of the Prime Minister's tone, I have no doubt that for the safety of your children, their families, my staff and their families, to close to the majority of pupils is the closest match to the spirit of the lockdown and its intention to reduce transmission.
With the new variant Covid considered to be currently 'out of control' I believe it would be wholly irresponsible to re-open. Furthermore, the risk of closure following soon thereafter would be high due either to staff or pupil outbreaks.
We also know that we have effective online learning and that begins today. Of course it is no match for the classroom, but we received considerable support from families last year for the model we applied.
We are open to a number of pupils whose parents are keyworkers or who face additional barriers to learning at home and who live close enough to attend as day pupils.
We are currently assessing whether we might be able to offer boarding to a small number of vulnerable/keyworker children in greatest need and will keep you updated on that.
If your son/daughter has exams this month, which seem to be going ahead, Mr Thompson will be in touch. Where there is an opportunity to take them again, we will not be running them at school, but where this is the final chance, we will be doing our best to facilitate that.
As was the case last year, our staff continue to work. The address [email protected] is monitored and we will continue to keep in touch with pupils through lessons but also informally through Care Staff, our Wellbeing Co-Ordinator and in other ways. Pupils can contact me through Teams or at [email protected]
I do hope that you will feel able to support our position. We realise the inconvenience that lockdown causes and we know that for your deaf children, classroom learning is best. However I remain absolutely certain that my first responsibility is to the whole school community and keeping parents, pupils and staff safe has to be my top priority.
We will continue to monitor the situation and to seek to improve further our response. We will not keep your children away from school for longer than necessary and will do our best to accommodate those in the greatest need.
Peter Gale, Principal