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Update letter to Parents/carers

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Dear Parent and Carer

I hope that you are all keeping well and managing through these challenging times. It has now been 12 weeks since schools went into ‘lockdown’ and we are rapidly approaching some key times in our school year. Significantly, our Year 11 pupils officially leave on the 26th May 2020, it is unfortunate that the final months of their school career will have been spent away from school and we hope that when they are in school for two days on the 25th & 26th June, that they can all get into school and we all say our farewells, this will be an emotional time for us all.

In previous letters to parents I have said how we are increasing the numbers of pupils attending school and this is understandably based the challenges children and families are facing at home. The increase in numbers of pupils is gradual and is limited by school transport and how many pupils can be safely accommodated on our premises, we all need to keep safe through socially distancing from one another. School transport are struggling to provide additional vehicles because they too have to enforce social distancing, this dictates to us the number of children we can bring back into school. An example of this is that they are unable to transport our year 11 pupils into school later this month.

We are re-opening our Ripon site from 29th June 2020 and Mrs Oliver is arranging which pupils will be brought back into the school for the remainder of term. All the Ripon staff will be returning to work at that site, several of whom have during the lockdown period been working at our Bedale site.

I thought it would be helpful to provide the national data on the attendance of pupils across England. The Department of Education (DFE) on the 9th June released national attendance data for the lockdown period, the national average was 7% and 10% for special schools, our attendance is considerably higher at 19% and I am very pleased that we are managing to accommodate so many children in school, in comparison to other schools.

It is difficult to plan ahead how we admit more pupils to school, other than a few weeks in advance, without in particular the rules on social distancing changing and without the means of addressing transport challenges. I share parents’ frustrations, caused by the restrictions on everyday life to control the spread of the COVID19 virus and like all of you, look forward to the restrictions being eased. In the meantime, we must all continue to manage as best we can and as soon as the restrictions change, we too then change our practices.

As we start to think about the end of this term and planning for autumn term, I must remind everyone that school closes for the summer holidays on Friday 17th July 2020 at 3.15pm, not the earlier time of 1pm.

I ask that parents who are facing challenges from your children, which you feel you can no longer continue to manage, to alert school staff and we will look into seeing whether we are able to offer additional support. Yours sincerely,
Jonathan Tearle, Executive Headteacher

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Parent/carer Information on Extended Openings

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

As everyone is probably aware, those schools which were closed during ‘lockdown’, due to the COVID19
pandemic, re-opened yesterday. In my letter to parents on the 22nd May 2020, I explained how we were
extending the opening of our school to additional pupils and that we will continue to steadily increase the number
of pupils who are in school. We are prioritising pupils whose parents are key workers; pupils who are LAC (Looked
After Children); pupils who are extremely vulnerable at home and those parents who need to return to

Staff have completed a ‘situational’ risk assessment on each pupil, this is based on the information we have
gathered from all those persons who have been in communication with you these past few months and with
direct conversations with parents. We are using this information in order to prioritise specific children who we
know, from the information gathered and shared between school staff and parents/carers, to identify who needs
to be in school.

The Government on the 26th May 2020 issued specific guidance to schools regarding Supporting children and
young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening , by clicking on this link you can access
the full document. This guidance asks special schools to work towards a phased return of more children and
young people, without a focus on specific year groups and informed by risk assessments, this is what we have
been doing throughout the COVID19 pandemic and is the approach which we will continue to follow.
I know that parents are raising questions with staff about their child returning to school, if you are unclear about
how we bring more children back into school, then please contact either Mrs Staple (Head of Secondary), Mrs
Oliver (Head of Primary), Mrs Pickles (Head of School) or myself.

We like all of you, are challenged by the restrictions placed on us and in order to keep pupils and staff as safe as
possible, we have introduced recommended additional health and safety measures in school, which I referred to
in my previous letter. The effect of these restrictions, is that we cannot accommodate in the school buildings all
our staff and all our pupils and local authority transport is unable to bring in high numbers of pupils, as they too
have to enforce social distancing on their vehicles. Unfortunately, due to the Government restrictions, a high
number of staff are not able to work in school. The challenges all schools are facing, will not change until we are
allowed to fully re-open by the Government and the threat of the pandemic is substantially reduced.

My thoughts and best wishes are with you all during these challenging times.

Jonathan Tearle

Executive Headteacher

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Extending the Opening of Mowbray School 22nd May 2020

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I hope that you are all keeping well and bearing up to all that is happening around us. I write this letter to you as
an update regarding how we are extending the opening of school and I deliberately am not using the word ‘reopening’ as we have never closed. This letter is also a follow on from my letter to you on 14th May following the

Government’s announcement about the re-opening of schools. There is considerable news coverage about the
safety of children returning to schools and in order for us to make the school as safe as possible, we will be unable
to operate as we did prior to the pandemic and that we have introduced additional hygiene procedures
throughout school.

I mentioned in my letter of 14th May 2020, special schools have been instructed to “work towards a phased return
of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.” Our plan is that we will continue to
steadily increase the number of pupils who are in school and prioritising pupils whose parents are key workers;
pupils who are LAC (Looked After Children); pupils who are extremely vulnerable at home and we are now also
adding another risk category, for pupils whose parents need to return to employment. Pupil numbers
commencing 1st

June are increasing by 50% and we are planning to continue to bring more pupils into school,
parents of pupils who are returning then have been contacted.

As you would expect there are many new health and safety regulations and other considerations which need to
be put in place. We are taking the approach that pupils will be working in a group, each group using just one
room, this approach is being referred to as working in a ‘bubble’, effectively with pupils accessing one classroom
with one group of staff and one group of pupils, in order for us to minimise contact with others.
Consequently, we have to keep a safe number of pupils and staff on the premises and with the social distancing
guidance remaining that we should keep 2 meters apart from one another, the number of pupils and staff in
classrooms is considerably reduced. Until these guidelines change the numbers of pupils and staff attending
school will remain reduced, we simply cannot accommodate every pupil and every member of staff.
Future plans to bring more pupils back into school
Yr. 11 pupils who are leaving school at the end of June are to return on Thursday 25th & Friday 26th June 2020
(this will be their last day in school), in order for us to help prepare them and to say our farewells as they embark
on the next stage of education.

In the upcoming weeks school will be making transition arrangements for pupils who are moving from our
primary department into the secondary department in September and looking at how these pupils are brought
back into school to do this, as yet this we have not finalised this.

In addition to this we are planning how we can bring Year 10 pupils back into school, prior to the end of term, to
help in their preparation for their final year in school and the qualifications which they will be taking.
F:\Coronavirus\Letters & information for staff\Letter to parents about extending opening of school May 22nd
2020.docx Mowbray School 22/05/20 Page 2

Parents/carers who are going back into work and there is no-one to care for child at home, are to contact
school and then we will assess whether we are able to offer a place for your child. Please understand that we
have very limited places, as we cannot safely accommodate high numbers of pupils and staff in school and we
have a high number of staff who are unable to work in school.

Other information
We are requesting that pupils do not come into school with personal possessions, other than what is needed in the
classrooms, this will reduce possible infections as COVID19 is carried on all surfaces.
If pupils have symptoms of COVID19 at home, they must not be sent into school and you must follow NHS advice.
If pupils have symptoms of COVID19 in school, we will isolate them away from others, staff will wear full PPE and
you are to collect your child from school.

Home to school transport– understandably social distancing in transport is difficult to achieve and having to reduce
the number of occupants in vehicles, this does therefor mean that they can transport reduced numbers of pupils.
Parents who are able to or wish to transport their own child to school are encouraged to do so and North Yorkshire
County Council will pay a transport allowance to families.

I have also been asked by school transport to remind parents of current Year 11 pupils, that they must apply on line
for transport to your child’s next place of education (where they are going in September) applications are online
from Monday 1st June on the council website.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Tearle

Executive Headteacher

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Guidance for parents on the ‘re-opening of schools’ 14th May 2020

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Dear Parent

I hope that everyone is keeping well and safe in these difficult times for us all. I thought it may be useful to
explain what is going on in relation to the ‘re-opening’ of school and this letter outlines key aspects relating to
this, following the announcement by the Prime minster on Sunday 10th May 2020 and subsequent guidance
received from the Department of Education (DFE). I apologise for the length of this letter and its complexity, I
have tried to simplify it and is based on the following documents;
‘Guidance on the actions for education and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June’
‘Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’

As a general guide to how I have written this document, any wordings which are in ‘italics’ are taken directly from
Government guidance.

In the Prime minister’s broadcast on Sunday evening he said that schools would partially reopen from the week
commencing 1st June 2020 for primary pupils of Nursery age, reception class age and pupils in year 1 and year 6;
for secondary aged pupils in year 10, for schools to offer some face-to-face support to supplement the remote
education of year 10 students who are due to take key exams next year, alongside the full time provision they are
offering to priority groups. However this statement applies to pupils attending mainstream schools and not
pupils who attend special schools.

For special schools we have been instructed to “work towards a phased return of more
children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.” Clearly this is very
different from the main message given by the Government through the media.
Vulnerable children and young people

Since the ‘lockdown’ started, Mowbray School has been open to children of key workers and to more vulnerable
pupils who have been highlighted through social care, as needing to be in school, throughout this period the
number of pupils attending has steadily increased, with 22 pupils in school this week. ‘There is a continuing
expectation that vulnerable children and young people of all year groups will attend educational or childcare
provision, where it is safe and appropriate for them do so.’

We are planning to support more families and have completed a risk assessment on each child in school, based on
information provided by school staff who have been in regular contact with you and conversations we have had
with social workers, the Government view is, ‘Where the risk assessment determines a child or young person with
an EHC plan (Education Health Care plan) will be safer at home, we recommend they stay at home. Where the risk
assessment determines a child or young person with an EHC plan will be as safe or safer at an educational setting,
we recommend they attend the educational setting.’

This gives some clarity on which children we should prioritize, and we will be following the recommendation that
if a child is safer at home, they stay at home. The greatest challenge we face in school is in implementing, social

Social distancing
This is something which we have all come to learn to live with and though there are now changes to ‘lockdown’
allowing greater freedoms, it is all conditional upon social distancing, this means keeping 2 meters away from
others. Throughout the lockdown period we have tried to ensure that social distancing procedures are followed in
school, what I have found through working with the children and staff in school, is that we cannot socially
distance ourselves from the children, they cannot socially distance from staff and do not socially distance
themselves from each other. Unfortunately, pupils and staff who have attended school over the past 8 weeks,
have been at an increased risk of catching the virus, compared to those children and staff who have been able to
stay at home. I am extremely pleased that none of those children and staff have caught the COVID19 virus.
We are looking at further systems we can put in place to minimize risk of infection from COVID 19, however it is
only fair to say that regardless of what we do in school, we cannot guarantee your child is safe from catching the
virus if they are in school. Clearly the higher the number of children and staff in school, the higher the chances of
children and staff catching COVID19.

‘Shielded and clinically vulnerable children and young people
For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Children and young people (0 to
18 years of age) who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions
have been advised to shield. We do not expect these children to be attending school and they should continue to
be supported at home as much as possible. Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are
those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A small minority of children will fall into
this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.

Shielded and clinically vulnerable adults
Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are advised not to work outside the home. We are strongly advising
people, including education staff, who are clinically extremely vulnerable (those with serious underlying health
conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus and have been advised by their
clinician or through a letter) to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Staff in this
position are advised not to attend work. Read COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on
medical grounds as extremely vulnerable for more advice.

Clinically vulnerable individuals who are at higher risk of severe illness (for example, people with some pre-existing
conditions as set out in the Staying at home and away from others (social distancing) guidance have been advised
to take extra care in observing social distancing and should work from home where possible. Education and
childcare settings should endeavour to support this, for example by asking staff to support remote education,
carry out lesson planning or other roles which can be done from home. If clinically vulnerable (but not clinically
extremely vulnerable) individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the safest available on-site roles,
staying 2 metres away from others wherever possible, although the individual may choose to take on a role that
does not allow for this distance if they prefer to do so. If they have to spend time within 2 metres of other people,
settings must carefully assess and discuss with them whether this involves an acceptable level of risk.

Living with a shielded or clinically vulnerable person

If a child, young person or a member of staff lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically
extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend their education or childcare setting.If a child, young person or staff member lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable,
as set out in the COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely
vulnerable guidance, it is advised they only attend an education or childcare setting if stringent social distancing
can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions. This may
not be possible for very young children and older children without the capacity to adhere to the instructions on
social distancing. If stringent social distancing cannot be adhered to, we do not expect those individuals to attend.
They should be supported to learn or work at home.’

School transport
School transport has been continually provided since lockdown began, social distancing in taxi’s and minibuses
has not been able to happen, as children, drivers and escorts cannot keep 2 meters apart in these vehicles.
Drivers and escorts have been wearing masks as protection. I am unsure as to what additional protective
measures will be taken, as more children access these vehicles.

Our next steps

We will continue to plan to admit additional pupils, as identified by our risk assessments where we feel
they are safer based in school and at the same time ensuring that we can keep everyone as safe as
possible on our premises. I know that times are tough for us all and we know that some of our children
have significantly greater needs and present greater challenge than others, it will make sense that we
try to prioritise such children.
I have been throughout this crisis, and continue to, work closely with North Yorkshire County Council in
all we do to support children, families and staff. I will keep families informed as to the next steps we are
taking and be in touch with families who we feel require the additional support of their child attending

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Tearle,

Executive Headteacher

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Current teaching vacancies

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

Assistant Headteacher, Bedale site

EYFS teacher, Ripon site

Primary teacher, Ripon site


Current teaching vacancies at Mowbray School                                                 Closing dates


Assistant Headteacher, Mowbray School, Bedale, North Yorkshire                         1st June 2020

This post is based at our main site in Bedle


EYFS Teacher, Mowbray School, Ripon site                                                          1st June 2020


Primary Class Teacher, Mowbray School, Ripon site                                          1st June 2020


For further details and an application form, please look on the North Yorkshire County Council Website     https://nyccjobs.engageats.co.uk/

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Ideas for Keeping Active at Home

Monday, March 30th, 2020

Fran Nichol from School Sports Partnership has given the following platforms for helping keep active at home:

Twitter @NYInclusiveSSP

Facebook NYInclusive SSP

Youth Sport Trust 


Sport England 


  • NHS sitting exercises appropriate for wheelchair users
  • Parasport home workouts for disabled people
  • NHS pilates workouts for less ambulant people

Other recommendations


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Join Amy on You Tube for Dance and Move sessions every Friday at 11

Monday, March 30th, 2020

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Coronavirus letter Friday 20th March 2020

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

It has been an incredible week and I am pleased to say that we have managed not just to remain open, but with
your help planned how we can be open next week. I have emailed all parents this morning, informing you that the
Government are now recommending that where possible ‘every child who can be safely cared for at home should
be’ and for special schools, the guidance says;

‘For some pupils, they will be safer in an education provision. For others, they will be safer at home.’ We have as
you know, asked where possible for parents/carers to keep your child at home from Monday 23rd March 2020,
until further notice.

This is because, we are trying, like everyone, to reduce the risk of pupils and staff catching the coronavirus, quite
simply the more children in school and the more staff in school, will increase the chances of pupils catching the
virus. In addition, we have a high number of staff absent from school, this number is increasing each day and it is
likely that these numbers will continue to rise into the future and we may not have the capacity to care for every

I can confirm that, following parent discussions with senior staff during the course of today, all those
parents/carers who have agreed with staff that your child will be in school next week, the school will be open for
them. I am so grateful to parents and carers who have agreed to keep their child at home and recognise the
additional challenges this places on you all. May I ask that all parents personally inform your child’s driver or
escort as to whether or not they will be in school.

I know during the course of the week that staff have prepared activities for pupils to do at home and they have
shared with you how to access them. All being well, Mrs Pickles and I are in school next week, along with several
staff to ensure that the needs of the children present and that the needs of the school and staff continue to be
met. Should parents need to speak with me or any of my colleagues, then do not hesitate to contact us next week
and we will help in whatever way we can.

We are in a period of uncertainty and I wish all members of our school community good health and all the very
best in these trying times.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Tearle,

Executive Headteacher

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Coronavirus and School Closures Thursday 19th March 2020

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

I know that the news yesterday from the Government was that schools will close until further notice from
the end of school on Friday 20th March 2020. This has been misleading, as all our pupils are classed as
‘vulnerable’, due to having an Education Health Care Plan, this means we will remain open beyond
tomorrow and it is our intention that this continues indefinitely. We do have a high number of both staff
and pupils absent from school, however we currently have sufficient staff to run the school safely and
review the situation each morning and evening.

Due to absent staff and reduced class numbers, pupils are where possible staying in their class or tutor
groups, this is particularly different for secondary pupils who are no longer following their usual timetable,
due to staffing absences making this not possible.

It is imperative that you all and all staff follow Government guidance, for anyone in the household who
starts displaying the following symptoms;
• a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
• a new, continuous cough
then they must to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, this is to reduce the chance
of others being infected with the virus.

Where pupils have a confirmed raised temperature or have a cough in school, staff will isolate them from
others and contact parents to collect their child from school. You will then need to keep your child at
home for 7 days, if parents do not follow these procedures and return a child early to school, we will
immediately send them home, this is to protect other children and staff.

It is a worrying time for us all, not just for parents and staff, but our pupils as well, many of whom are
aware of the current crisis we are facing. It is important that we all follow the advice we are given and
minimise any potential risks to each others health. My thanks to all the staff for their support for one
another and for our pupils, we will do our very best to continue to remain open without compromising
anyone’s health.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Tearle

Executive Headteacher

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Corona virus information

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020



Dear Parent/Carer

We are all living in extraordinary times, with the impact of the coronavirus affecting every one of us, both at home and in school. We are doing all we can to ensure that everybody is safe; that school remains open and we have taken various measures to reduce risks to pupils and staff, which include;

  • Following yesterday’s Government advice, as from this morning, we have stopped all educational visits, after school activities and activities outside of school, where we may come into contact with the public.
  • Stopping all Annual Review meetings indefinitely.
  • Restricting meetings and visitors to school.
  • Instructing staff and parents to remain at home if they have a continuous cough or a high temperature, which is for children is above 380 and adults above 37.80
  • There are currently 21 (11%)staff absent from school due to illness, self-isolation and being sent home by me for concerns about their vulnerability and today 45 (18%) pupils absent.
  • Staff are preparing activities for pupils to follow at home, if school needs to close.
  • Rigourous attention to handwashing by all occupants; increased hand sanitizers and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.
  • Isolating and sending pupils and staff home, if they have a continuous cough or high temperature.
  • All our parent liaison officers are working from home and will not do home visits or attend meetings, but they will support parents via the phone.

It goes without saying do not send a child into school with a high temperature or continuous cough. Unfortunately our staffing is reduced at the moment and this situation will probably remain for sometime.

New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

·         if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

·         if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

·         for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

·         A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

·         A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

As you will appreciate this is a difficult time for schools and I am grateful for the support parents and carers continue to give us.I will continue to communicate with parents either by email or text messages.

Jonathan Tearle, Executive Headteacher

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