Update 16th May
Dear parents and carers
You will be aware that the Government has announced that it expects schools to be able to open from the 1st June for some year groups followed by the rest of the school later in June.The Government has asked for us to begin opening with Nursery; Reception; Year 1 and Year 6.
As a school, we are looking forward to welcoming the children back, but we also recognise the very real anxieties that all parents will have at this time.
We are now putting together a plan for June 1st and while the plan is not yet completed and ready to share, we have some guiding principles:
- Staff, children and parents need to have confidence in our approach to hygiene.
- Staff, children and parents need to have confidence in our approach to protecting the medically most vulnerable in our whole community, including staff and their families.
- The Government has instructed that we teach in ‘bubbles’ of 15 children to lower the risk of infection.
- It is not possible that we have the space or the staffing to teach in groups of 15 with staggered breaks, lunches and drop-offs, so part-time school for children will be necessary for now
- It will be a gradual process – we will open with one year on June 1st and build from there.
- Children who are not at school will still need our support so we will offer a blend of online and face to face learning.
Several parents asked us on the calls last week what would happen if they didn’t send their child back when asked. The Government has decided to strongly encourage parents to send their children to school but has made it clear that parents will not be forced at this time. For example, there will be no penalty notices and theFree School Meal vouchers will continue for now.
We believe that our plan will support your children to return to school as safely as is possible under the current guidelines and we hope that many of you will choose to send your children back. For those of you who do remain at home, we will continue to provide online learning, something that we are getting better at all the time, and that I know many of you find supportive.
More information will follow about our detailed plan for the 1st June this week.
Update 14th April
There continue to be technical issues with the voucher system for children entitled to Free School Meals that has been put in place by the government. We are not the only school in this situation (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/parents-face-technical-problems-getting-21855228) and we are working very hard to try and fix this for our families.
I am very grateful to the office staff who have come in to school every day during this holiday to try and fix this problem on behalf of our parents and their children. They are here again today on the phones and computers trying to resolve the situation.
If you are waiting for your vouchers still, and many of you are, please feel free to email the school to ask about progress. We understand that not receiving the support to which you are entitled is very frustrating but please remember that this problem is not because of actions or problems at the school but because of problems at the National level where such a large scheme has been rolled out very quickly and there have been changes made during the rollout, including the addition of the entitlement during the Easter break. The office staff at Lansbury Lawrence have given a great deal of their time during this holiday period and continue to do so to make sure that we have done everything that we can to get you what you need.
If you are in need of food, please see the update below from the 10th April that outlines a scheme for hot meals served from nine locations including Spotlight near Langdon Park Station – click here for the latest information.
Update 10th April
Last Friday, we worked with Tower Hamlets to provide the food bags for children who are entitled to Free School Meals. The government has now determined that children who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive vouchers during the Easter Holiday. The Lansbury Lawrence Office staff have been working very hard to make sure that can happen. It hasn’t been straightforward as there are several glitches in the system, but we think that we are now there. If you are entitled, you should check your emails and you should receive the voucher by the end of Thursday 10th April. If we don’t have an email address on record for you, we will be putting it in the post. If you need further information or you’re concerned that you are missing out, please use admin email address: email@example.com.
From Tower Hamlets:
Free hot meals for families with school aged children over Easter
The following locations will be serving hot meals to takeaway starting on Wednesday 8 April until Friday 17 April – excluding Saturday 11 April and Easter Sunday. Each location will be serving a maximum of 300 meals each to ensure social distancing etiquette can be followed.
Meals will be free to any family with school aged children who are struggling to afford, or find, food during the current situation. You should only take what you need for your family for one day.
More locations may be added soon – click here for the latest information.
Monday to Friday only
Update 31st March
Next week will be the Easter Holiday and there is no demand from our Key Workers; therefore we will be closed from Monday 6th April and will re-open for Key Worker children on April 20th. There is no Government plan yet to re-open for all children and school will remain closed for the majority of children for the foreseeable future.
Please remember to have your children log on to Google Classroom. The teachers are putting lots of activities online and would love for more children to join them. Thre’s a guide to logging on here: http://lansburylawrence.towerhamlets.sch.uk/logging-your-child-on-to-google-classroom/ and if you need any further support, please use this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school office between 8:00 and 12:00.
Free School Meal Support
Tower Hamlets have prepared food packages for every child who is entitled to a free school meal at Lansbury Lawrence and these can be collected on Friday. The school will contact you to advise you what time you should arrive. Please stick to this time as it’s important for socail distacning and making the process as safe as possible. After the Easter Holiday, there will also be the option of food vouchers. We will keep you informed as to how to receive these.
Update 25th March
Today marked the third day of the school closure and the beginning our Home Learning Project with the children. The teachers have been very active on Google Classroom and I’ve really enjoyed reading messages; the work set; watching teacher videos; and even some phonics lessons. I’ve also enjoyed the work and the comments from the children – some of which we’re starting to share on our blogs. Please do try to log in with your children everyday. The more time that the children spend with us, the more we will be able to do for them. Difficult though this situation is, there are positives that can come from it and spending time learning with your children is one of them. We will do everything that we can to help, and if you have other ideas of ways in which we can do that, please share them: email@example.com
The Key Worker Provision is up and running from 7:30 until 15:30. The demand is not high so we shall be staying with these hours for now. Because demand is low across Tower Hamlets, the Authority is looking at establishing Hubs to provide this care going forward. Lansbury Lawrence is working with the other Poplar Partnership Schools to on this basis.On Friday 3rd April, Tower Hamlets will be providing food for collection for children who are entitled to Free School Meals. Note that this is different to the Mayor’s promise and Universal Infant Free Meals so this will not be for all children. We will make sure that accurate information is sent to those who are entitled. There are still some details to work out, but I would expect my next update to include the complete plan.
I hope that you are all well and keeping yourselves safe,
Update 20th March 13:41
We can now confirm that we will be opening for Key Worker families from 7:30 on Monday 23rd March and that lunch will be provided. On Monday, we will close at 15:30, but we aim to move to a 17:30 finish by the end of the week.
To take up this provision, you will need to complete this form: Key Worker Application Form
Update 19th March 15:14
Tower Hamlets have now confirmed their locally agreed list for Key Workers: NHS staff, any emergency service, food manufacturing, food distribution, teachers, TAs, social workers, school and NHS cleaners, school caretakers, Tower Hamlets attendance officers.
The school will be open to children of these workers on Monday. We will confirm the exact timings tomorrow. If you have a particular need, please make the office aware of it and we can see what’s possible.
Update 18th March 18:04
Dear Parents and Carers,
We remain fully open tomorrow (Thursday 19th March) and Friday 20th March, however, the Government have now confirmed that we will be closed from Friday evening until further notice for most children. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who have done the most wonderful job keeping the school running as normal with no reduction in our service. Our staff absence runs between 1 and 2 days in every 100, which is an incredibly low rate for any employer, including schools. It is a great show of their commitment to your children.
The school will remain open to the most vulnerable children and those children of Key Workers and we will be looking at extending this offer over the traditional Easter Holiday. Vulnerable children will include any children with a social worker and any children who have an EHC Plan. We will be exploring over the next two days what other children this might apply to. Key Workers has yet to be defined, but clearly must include health workers, care workers, police, armed forces, delivery drivers and now school staff who are continuing to work full time. If you would like to talk to the school about your own circumstances, please do. I’ll be talking with Tower Hamlets and can feedback views and questions as I receive them.
We will of course continue to provide home learning for your children throughout what could be a long shutdown and we are exploring what other services it is appropriate to provide. For example, our school library and food services.
We will continue to update this post as and when we find out more.
Updated: 18th March 14:01
Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, thank you all for your good wishes and support during this time. Your postivity and the positivity of your children is most welcome!
Secondly, the school remains very much open and I expect this to continue until such a time as the Government tells us differently. Some staff are off but so are many children so we are confident that we will be able to continue to keep your children safe. Some families are self-isolating for the 14 days as advised by the Government and some families are making decisions in the best interests of their families. Again, thank you, it is important that we all follow the advice to keep our community as safe as possible. We are here to support you whatever decisions you are taking.
We have a plan for a possible school closure which we are already begining to work through. The aims of our plan are:
- To be an ongoing community support for our children, their families, and our staff so that we are there for each other during this time.
- To work with our children and their parents and carers so that our children continue to learn and to flourish.
- To ensure that when the school reopens, we are in the best shape to educate our children and meet all their needs.
- To keep the business of the school running effectively.
Today you will receive a home-learning pack for your child. This was prepared last week in the event of a school closure, but we have decided to send it out today as so many children are isolating at home. Please note, school remains open tomorrow and for the known future. I have no inside information about school closure and am following the same news as everyone else!
If your child is not in school today, please call to the school office to collect your children’s packs. There are a lot of children not in school so it will really help us if you do this, we will try to deliver for those of you who are unable to collect them.