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Professional Resources

A message from the Leicestershire Virtual School

The government has asked parents to keep children at home, wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

“… the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.”

As carers and corporate parents we have to make the judgement on what is in the best interests of our children. Looked after children are in safe, warm, loving foster placements and their health interests and that of their carers and foster siblings may be best served by not attending school. However, our priority is to maintain stability of placements and ensure that our children and young people remain safe, healthy and happy in them. If carers and social workers feel that school attendance is crucial to maintaining placement stability, then the Virtual School will be supportive of you making the decision that is appropriate to your child and ensures a home and school arrangement where stability and well-being are sustained.

It has become evident that some schools may not be sufficiently resourced to continue to have our children continue to attend, as they will have staff who themselves cannot be at work through illness or self-isolation and remaining staff who are working on a rota basis to maintain a limited provision and protect health.

The decision as to whether a child remains at home or goes to school must be a collaborative one made between carers, social workers, school and your child’s Virtual School Education Improvement Officer. Carers need to be aware that some schools will only be able to provide what in effect will be a child-minding facility rather than a full teaching timetable; this too could have an impact on pupils who require a more formalised learning routine.

Advice and government direction tends to be amended daily as the pandemic situation develops, so further information is likely soon. In the meantime, please communicate with each other, with the schools and with your children.

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