Dear Parents and Carers,
Please find attached to this email, a letter for you from Audrey Kingham, Director of Education at Northumberland County Council and Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health for Northumberland.
Before even reading the letter, I’m sure you will be aware of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Northumberland. Cases are rising again at Newsham Primary School and there are currently a significant number of staff absent from work. Covid is responsible for a proportion of these absences.
As Headteacher, I continue to do everything in my power to keep every single person in our school community safe. Despite these efforts, pupils and staff are still contracting Covid-19. The virus seems indiscriminate in the way it can affect individuals. Some members of our school community may be asymptomatic, some experience a loss of taste and / or smell, some have symptoms usually associated with a cold or an upset stomach and some are very poorly. One member of staff has Long Covid, having contracted Covid-19 in December 2020 and remains seriously ill.
Whilst the last thing I want to do is cause alarm, I do think it is vital that we all take every precaution and do whatever we can to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus. My latest Risk Assessment (RA7.1) is on our school website and it refers to good hand hygiene, social distancing and all the other routines that we know are important during this pandemic.
I wish I could tell you that Breakfast Club and / or After School Club can restart but this is not possible in our school due to the number of cases we continue to experience, and the risks associated with mixing children from different year groups in one space. Our low staffing levels mean that we can’t offer a range of separated spaces for these clubs.
I would also dearly love to be able to welcome you all back into our school building and to celebrate Christmas with our usual nativities and Christmas performances. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t possible for all the reasons detailed above but we will make sure we get carols and contributions online before the end of term as part of our best effort to bring Christmas to your living rooms.
The pandemic is now in its 21st month and shows no sign of being over yet. I could never have imagined the situation lasting as long as it is doing but nor could I have imagined the level of support and belief in my leadership you have all extended over this length of time. Thank-you so much.
Please read the letter attached carefully, continue to show the wonderful level of support and understanding that you have demonstrated so far and email or phone us at school if anything is causing a worry or concern.
Stay safe and thank-you again
Newsham Primary School