Tuesday, 5 January 2021

5th January Update

Tuesday 5th January 2021 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Following last night's announcement of a further lockdown, I wanted to update you with some important information and to try to address some questions that you may have.

Why is there a national lockdown?

The Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

The decision follows a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country. Our hospitals are now under more pressure than they have been at any other point throughout the pandemic.

This drastic jump in cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which our scientists have confirmed is between 50% and 70% more transmissible.

The four UK Chief Medical Officers have advised that the COVID threat level should move from level four to level five, indicating that if action is not taken NHS capacity may be overwhelmed within 21 days.

How long is that national lockdown for?

All primary and secondary schools will close until at least mid-February except for key worker children and vulnerable children where absolutely necessary. We have been told this will be reviewed by the Department for Education nearer the time and shared with schools. We will continue to update you with all key information.

How is Havering being affected by the Coronavirus compared to the rest of the country? Havering is particularly affected by the new variant of COVID-19. The graph below was taken from the

What can I and can’t I do?

This is an ever changing picture and can be hard to keep up to date with! I would recommend you read the current government guidelines to ensure you are aware of the new rules.

Who can attend Mead Primary School during the lockdown?

The Government guidance is clear that Primary schools should only allow children of critical workers and those defined as vulnerable to attend. This should only be considered when absolutely necessary. If you have requested a place for your child in school, please urgently and seriously consider whether it is essential for them to attend school. The safest place for your child is at home. Please keep your children at home if at all possible.

Will exams take place this academic year?

The government stated ‘In these circumstances, we do not think it is possible for exams to go ahead fairly this summer. The Secretary of State for Education will be asking Ofqual to consult rapidly on an approach for alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.’

Useful medical links

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus

Social distancing: what you need to do - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid 19 testing sites

Testing and tracing for coronavirus (COVID-19)

People at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

Contact information

Parents, please note that teaching your own children can be REALLY HARD! I suspect some of you discovered this during the previous lockdown. You are doing a great job in very challenging circumstances. Please don’t be too hard on yourself or worry if a day doesn’t go as planned – there is always tomorrow. If you think we can help in any way, please do get in touch, we will do our best to support and guide as best we can.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our staff who have been fantastic over the last few weeks. We have been affected by the virus like most workplaces; we have staff self-isolating as they are clinically vulnerable, staff who tested positive and were required to self-isolate and some staff who have been very unwell with the virus, including admissions to hospital. They have juggled their home life, family commitments and work responsibilities incredibly well during this challenging and ever changing time to support the school as best they can. It is a privilege to work with such dedicated and caring people.

Take care and stay safe.

Mr Denchfield