Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you are managing to stay safe and well. As we are all very much aware, the school closure has gone on much longer than any one of us would have hoped. We really appreciate all of the wonderful pictures that you send to us of the things you are doing at home. We also know that behind this, you are all working extremely hard to look after your children, the rest of your family and keep day to day life going. Not every day is sunshine and smiles. Normality is a very long way off for any of us.

The challenge for us, and for yourselves, is to keep all of our very special and vulnerable children safe. The much talked about social distancing is exceptionally difficult for our children, particularly as we placed so much emphasis on teaching them to work and play alongside one another. We know from our conversations with you that many of you quite rightly feel your children are safer at home with you at the present time. The risk factor in South Tyneside remains high.

We are continuing to provide suggestions on Facebook that can help you keep your child busy, whilst learning at home. Parents have told us that this is useful, and I have to thank staff for their personalised contributions to this. Our teachers have told me how much they enjoy calling to speak to you, and in some cases, the children themselves. They miss your children’s company a great deal. We are always happy for you to get in touch directly with any of your concerns for your child. Our email is schoolinfo@keelmanswayschool.co.uk this is checked daily and the school phone number 07807 273436. I would also like to mention our NHS colleagues. Many of our school nursing staff and therapists have been redeployed to front line work during this very critical time. Although we don’t have them with us you can contact their services on the numbers we published on Facebook.

You will see there is a great deal of debate in the press about opening mainstream schools. As a special school we are continuing to provide child care for a small group of Key Worker and some exceptionally vulnerable children. The time they have in with us is not school as any of your children would remember it. The children are from a mixed age range and are not with their usual friends or staff members. This will continue for the present time and for the majority of our pupils we remain closed.

Yours sincerely

P Selby

Mrs P Selby Head Teacher