CV-19 Contingency

Information for parents/carers:

As we enter a third national lockdown to fight the ongoing pandemic, we continue to respond to the Government’s agenda to welcome students back to school.


From January 2021 special schools are asked to encourage the return of children and young people, with an EHCP.  Head Teachers have been given flexibility to do this to the best of their ability whilst ensuring the health and safety of the community is paramount.    Until February half term we will:

    • Continue to offer places in school to all children and young people with EHC plans who need them.  If it is necessary to do so we will prioritise those who are deemed to be most vulnerable or those whose parents are essential workers

    • Ensure as many children and young people as possible are actively transitioning back to on-site education in specialist settings, using a variety of flexible approaches. This may include:

      • ​part-time timetables and attendance rota

      • blended onsite and home learning

      • phased returns for individuals or groups


With this in mind, our guiding principles for how to move forward through this transition as smoothly as possible continue to be described using the SWAN analogy and approach:



  • We will look after your child physically and emotionally.

  • We will provide clear and consistent rules.

  • Staff will model new protocols and ways of working and living.

  • We endeavour to have clear communication with parents so you trust that your children are as safe as possible.

  • We will have honest, factual conversations with children.


  • We will aim to create an environment that follows the rules but also feels warm and welcoming. 

  • There are no clear answers for how to do this but we want your child to walk into school and feel they belong and that we are delighted they are here.

  • We will use our creativity to develop new rules for social interaction that still make people feel supported.

All together for the child

  • We will support each other as fellow humans.

  • We will work together to make our children feel included, no matter what our names or job titles are.  Not one of us has all the answers.

  • We will rely on our strong relationships with families

  • When in doubt during this time, we will ask ourselves how the children feel and what they need.


  • Our children have missed a lot of school. Although it is tempting to ‘make up for lost time’ we need to focus on rebuilding relationships.

  • We are all on ‘high alert’ right now and therefore we are not primed for learning. 

  • Also, we will have forgotten a bit about how to learn, how to be around people etc.  

  • This is the ‘mother of all transitions’.  It will take time and we need to create an environment where people can find their feet again.  

  • We will make sure our children can stay safe but be able to laugh and have fun together.

So what next?


The school will be open from Thursday 7th January as originally planned.  For the first two days we offer a remote education (with live lessons) to all students so that we can make arrangements for the training and room set up needed in order to conduct CV19 tests in school from the following week.  

From Monday 11th January, Students can return to school if they have requested a place and this has been agreed. 


If parents wish to keep their child working remotely from home this half term, they can request this from the Head Teacher.  


Whether learning at home or at school, all students will have a high quality education that consists largely of live lessons with teachers and teaching assistants who they know and trust.  In addition, therapy will continue if a student is in school or working remotely.  


To support the extra cleaning, organisation and transition home so that staff can access after school training, the school day will finish at 3pm for all students.  


In order to reduce the risk of any virus spreading, students will be assigned an in-school group and will not mix with students from the other groups.   The students in each group will be fixed, and as far as possible, the staff will also be fixed.  This way, if there are further cases of CV19 in school, they will hopefully be contained to those within that group   However, if staff do become ill, some changes to staff teams will naturally need to take place.  Senior leaders will be present in school each day on both sites.


Students that are in school will be doing the same work (set on Google Classroom) as those who are working at home.  Given that we are a small school with only one of each subject teacher, we will not be able to run lessons in the classroom as well as online at the same time. Continuing to work in this way means that students in school will still see their peers at live form times and within live taught lessons and teachers will be able to provide equal education to all students.  Whether you are at home or in school, your child’s form teacher continues to be the main point of contact for families. 

For those who are spending some time in school there are additional changes on both sites  as well as the previous new arrangements.  These include: 

  • Morning temperature checks on arrival at school.

  • ​Students will learn, eat and play in their groups. 

  • The school day will start at the usual time of 8.45am but students will be collected at 3.00pm to allow staff time to wash down and sanitise any equipment used before making their journeys home before peak traffic.

  • Students will remain in their transport in the morning until called and then make their way immediately to their classroom. At the end of day, they will be called from their classroom and escorted to their transport. Parents will need to stand by their vehicles at 8.45am and 3.00pm so we can identify which students are ready to come into school or be collected. Parents must not congregate by the school gates or allow their children through the gates without being called. 

  • There will be a colour-coded tape system in place:

    • Red tape = do not cross this line or go into these spaces.  This is used to mark out zones around desks (e.g. in the office)

    • Yellow tape = this indicates an area to be ALERT to (e.g. a highly used area. Only one person should be in this space)

    • 2m tape = this is used where queuing may be needed (e.g. near doorways/entrances)

    • If an area is being cleaned, yellow caution tape will be put up as a barrier.

  • Students will wash hands on arrival at school; before and after eating; before and after using the toilet; and between every lesson.  We will provide hand sanitiser where hot water and soap cannot be used.  We will remind children of how and when to wash their hands.

  • Students will be expected to practice social distancing.  We will all try to stay 1-2m apart from each other at all times. 

  • Break times and lunch times will be staggered to reduce the number of people in the playground.

  • Lunch will be eaten in classrooms within groups.

  • Parents and other visitors will only be allowed on the premises if essential and if planned.  All meetings (e.g. annual reviews) will still take place remotely.  

  • All training will take place remotely

Each day, your child will need to bring:

  1. A packed lunch in a container and any plate or cutlery they need.  

  2. A bottle of drink.

  3. A bag to take home any rubbish from their lunch. 

  4. A pencil case with their own pencils, pens, erasers, ruler, sharpener, and any colouring pencils they want to bring. 

  5. Their ChromeBook


No toys will be allowed from home.  Sharing of any items from home will not be allowed. 


If you need your child to continue to travel by Local Authority transport, you will need to contact your transport provider as soon as possible to let them know of your new arrangements and which days your children will be going to school.  

We will be providing more information to your child once they return to school. If you need any further details do not hesitate to contact one of the other Senior Leaders. 

Thank you all for continuing to support us here at Holmewood as we work through this crisis together.

Testing in school:

We are participating in the testing in schools programme.  

All students who attend school will be offered Lateral flow tests for asymptomatic people.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid19 must stay home, isolate and obtain the usual full PCR test.  They must not come to school to be tested.

Consent forms will be sent out to ask your permission for testing.  If your child is 16 or over, they must give their consent directly.

Consent can be withdrawn at any time and no student will be forced to test.


Resources for parents:

Support for students:

Students can access the following:

  • academic work primarily through Google Classroom 

  • pastoral and wellbeing contact by email and Google Hangouts

  • therapy provision as per the attached RE Plan (due to each therapy needing a different way of working). 

  • physical education by email instruction, Google Classroom and/or Hangouts with Mr Rose.

Resources for Students:

Information for external visitors:

We are following government advice in order to keep our community safe and as such we are unable to offer visits or tours of the School at the present time. Please email the Admissions Manager in order to keep up to date with regards to future tours and visits.

The Holmewood School is a trading name of Cavendish Learning (London) Ltd, registered in England and Wales. No 09622592. Registered Office 14 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AR.

Copyright ©2020 Cavendish Education Ltd

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