It is more important than ever that families know what is going on.  Communication is a two-way process: school is responsible for providing effective communication and information; parents and carers are responsible for reading and following it.

Please read all emails sent out via Parentmail and look for information on the school website before calling the office.  Office staff, where possible, will be working from home; therefore, please email rather than telephone.  We cannot guarantee that the phone will be answered in times when the office is not staffed.




Is school a safe place for children?


Schools closed on 5th January because of the public health risk from the increase in the pandemic and to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed. Not because they were not 'safe'. The highest risk of contracting the virus is from within the home and in peer groups. This is why we are keeping bubbles intact.

Ongoing risk assessment, reviewed regularly since March 2020, mean schools are as safe as they can be within the context of their own communities. Schools mirror the rates in the community. Schools are closed to most children in order that the community rate can come down to a manageable level for the NHS.



How will places be provided in school during lockdown?


The nature of the more virulent virus and rate of infection in the community means we must do all we can to prevent further spread and the NHS being overwhelmed. It is our moral and civic duty to minimise the numbers of pupils and staff in school.

The following children are entitled to a place in school:

  1. Vulnerable (children with a named social worker and any children who are at risk of harm or identified as in need of care) and children with an Education Health and Care Plan for a disability and/or special educational need. This category may include children who the school whose vulnerabilities mean they are high need of face-to-face education in school.

  2. Children of critical workers in order for them to work. The guidance is clear: parents and carers who are key workers should keep their children at home where they can. We ask that critical workers who are able to work from home consider very carefully, whether their child needs to be in school. For example a person 'on call' for face to face work will need a place in school. A person doing admin or meetings from home, may not.

We will do our best to accomodate the needs of some other children and families according to an assessment of their needs.

The guidance from government is available using the link below.



How will staff be deployed during lockdown?


As in any other area of work, school staff work at home when they can. However, to maintain provision for the most vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers, staff do need to work in school.

The rate of infection and national emergency mean that we must be even more vigilant during any period of national lockdown. We have deployed staff so that those working in school do not cross bubbles.

Teaching staff, working at home, take responsibility for online and remote learning.

An exception is our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. To mitigate risk, she works with children while walking in the grounds or 1-1 in a separate room sanitised between use.

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Contact the School

Whitegate CE Primary School


Chair of Governors:
Mrs Cotterill

Clerk to Governors:
Mrs Susan Knight

Main Contact: Mrs Michelle Shephard, School Business Manager

Tel: 01606 212203