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School closures - January 2021

ODST's response to the school closures announcement

Statement from Anne Dellar, Chief Executive:

'The past few days have once again been very challenging for primary schools, with schools putting huge effort into opening safely just hours before the government’s closure announcement. Many of our schools opened fully for pupils yesterday and so many children were obviously so happy to back in class, learning and playing with their friends, so we received the full lockdown news with sadness for some, and relief for others who are operating in areas of high transmission rates and who were challenged by the prospect of operating in a safe and Covid-secure way.

We feel very sorry for our younger pupils who went to bed expecting to come to school today, but who woke to a very different scenario; we are also so sorry about the impact on parents that resulted from the Government U-turn coming as late as it did. Our parents have been really understanding, supportive and flexible and we want to thank them so much for their understanding.

Headteachers and school staff are once again adapting to the changing goalposts quickly and effectively, opening today or tomorrow for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils and delivering remote learning for all others. We have a strong and robust on-line offer and were well prepared. 

While this is clearly what is needed over the next few weeks at least, we hope fast progress can be made in terms of reducing the spread of the virus and ensuring rapid vaccination rollout, so that teachers can welcome children back into classrooms as soon as possible. In the meantime, our ODST schools will be supporting their families and communities with the same dedication they have done throughout the past year, regardless of whether children are in school or at home.’