Covid-19 update – 02/11/2020
Dear parents/ carers and commissioners,
Firstly we hope that this update finds you well in what continue to be extremely challenging times for us all. Now more than ever we would like to extend our best wishes to you as we head into another bout of national lockdown measures.
On Saturday 31st October, the Prime Minister informed the nation that as of Thursday 5th November, there would be tighter restrictions placed on society in an attempt to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Many sectors of industry are facing further closures for a period of one month, however schools and education settings will remain open.
Now more than ever, R.E.A.L. are committed to meeting the needs of our children and young people and also to support their families through this testing time. During the first national lockdown, when schools were asked to close their doors, many of our young people continued to be provided for under the provision of their Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Our provision services will remain open for all young people during the next month of tighter restrictions and we would like to reassure you that we are working harder than ever to keep provision in place.
One of the most significant benefits to your children and young people being educated at R.E.A.L., whether that be at one of our independent special schools, or for part-time studies in alternative provision, is that we adopt a flexible approach to meet the needs of our youngsters. Many of our young people access 1:1 support from our team of tutors and so often this is a key ingredient in building relationships which can then in turn lead to academic and social progress. On the other hand this is currently posing some significant challenges as we get used to life with young people and staff alike having to take periods of self-isolation under government guidelines. We would like to thank you in anticipation of your continued support of the task we face in continuation of services.
Since March, many of our young people have successfully accessed a remote package of learning. These packages have been provided in all shapes and sizes and are driven by the type of learning opportunity most suited to the individual young person. Our key aim in provision of remote learning is that young people have a continuity in their learning journey and we have been working hard to ensure that options are available in the event that remote options need to be used. We would like to thank both parents/ carers and our commissioners for supporting us in being able to deliver these packages as we are aware of the knock on effects of young people having to be educated at home.
Following recent government updates, all R.E.A.L. staff and young people in year 7 and above will be required to wear a mask when moving around our venues. We have procured washable masks for distribution and could we please ask that you ensure your children and young people have their mask with them at the beginning of each day. We are of course aware that some of our young people will be exempt from wearing a mask and we have briefed our staff team accordingly. Likewise, we would appreciate regular conversations to happen at home around the importance of social distancing and regular hand washing whilst out on their day to day education activities. The R.E.A.L. management teams have been working hard to ensure that appropriate hygiene facilities and signage are in place at each of our venues.
As we head into the next half-term and the run up to the Christmas holidays we would like to wish you and your families all well. We would like to reassure you that we are continually developing and improving the systems and processes that we have in place to limit the transmission of the virus. Spotting symptoms early is crucial in helping to reduce the spread, so again, could we please ask for your vigilance in helping to identify any signs and symptoms in your children and young people. If your young person is displaying any of these three common symptoms of the virus then they must self-isolate immediately and take a test:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Finally, if you have any queries, questions or concerns relating to provision for your child or young person, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your nominated contact at R.E.A.L..
Wishing you all the best over the coming weeks,
The R.E.A.L. Leadership Team