Friday, September 4th, 2020
Dear Parent Thursday 3rd September 2020
We hope that you have had an enjoyable and safe summer break and that your child is ready for their
return to school on Tuesday 8th September 2020. This letter will highlight some of the key arrangements
we have made regarding how school will operate for the foreseeable future, so that school is a safe as
we can make it. We ask that you carefully read through this letter and that it will address some of the
questions you may have and also understand that the guidance and information which we receive from
the Government does change on a daily basis and is difficult to keep up with.
The Government have asked schools to:
• manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current
public health guidance – this means a child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have been
in close, face to face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
• ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when
they return from breaks, and before and after eating – this should be done for 20 seconds with soap
and running water or hand sanitiser. (At Mowbray we have purchased additional hand washing
stations so that all class bubbles have direct in room access to handwashing facilities.)
• promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good respiratory hygiene
• enhance cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often,
• minimise contact and encourage maintaining distance as far as possible and for pupils to where
possible stay within specified separate groups (or bubbles)
• all staff to where possible maintain distance between individuals, this includes pupils and adults.
Further information can be found by following this link Government information on ‘What parents need
to know about schools in the autumn term’
We continue to implement strict protective measures in school to ensure pupils and staff are as safe as
we can make it from the virus, with strict hand washing regimes, cleaning regimes and as best we can
implement social distancing.
North Yorkshire County Council have provided health and safety risk assessments for us to complete and
use, for the wider opening of school, this ensures that we have in place recommended procedures.
These risk assessments have been agreed with unions and are fully in place.
The latest evidence and advice from the Government is that children aged 12 and over should wear a
mask where social distancing cannot be safely managed and there is widespread transmission in the
area. There is different advice for Primary and secondary aged pupils on the wearing of masks in school;
when they are to be worn; how children should put them on (hand washing prior to putting them on
etc.); if the school is in an area of national intervention and when social distancing is extremely difficult.
Our view is this, if parents feel their child is safer and are able to wear a face mask, then we will
respect their decision to do so.
Our position on the wearing of face coverings by staff has not changed from last term, staff are strongly
encouraged to wear either face masks or visors in the school building.
Transport arrangements to school and on any school trips,
Children’s arrival and departure times are now staggered to reduce congestion in school and reduce
potential risks, your transport operator should have contacted you with specific information relating to
your child, these times are;
08.45 drop off and 14.45 collection
09.00 drop off and 15.15 collection
09.15 drop off and 15.15 collection
NYCC advise where it is possible for SEND pupils to use a face covering that they should do so, but
understand that some pupils will not be able to do this due to the nature of their individual needs.
Government and DFE advice are changeable , the decisions on wearing face masks by staff and pupils is
one which we have the discretion to make and have detailed our decisions in the above paragraphs.
All pupils in school will be taught in their class form groups, these groups are known as ‘bubbles’ and all
pupils have already been grouped by need and ability. The pupil’s will, where possible, work solely in
these groups and spend the whole day working in the class groups with the same staff, this will reduce
the chance of anyone catching or spreading the COVID19 virus. However, specialist teachers in our
secondary department, will be allowed to teach the specialist qualifications to pupils in different
‘bubbles’. Therapist’s, such as Speech and language, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists and
other visiting health care staff will resume working directly with pupils.
Pupils will have breaktimes, however the timing of these will be staggered so that pupils are as far as
possible not mixing with other pupils outside of their ‘bubbles’. Similar arrangements of staggered
timings will be made for eating lunch and arriving and leaving school. There will not be large gatherings
such as assemblies, whole school breaktimes and lunches will be served and eaten in classrooms.
When pupils return in September, they must wear school uniform and for hygiene reasons possessions
brought into school must be kept to a minimum. Those pupils who are able to use their own
pen’s/pencils etc, are asked to bring them into school and take them home each day, this will reduce the
transmission of the virus.
Currently an additional sick bay is being built opposite the school entrance on the Bedale site, this will
be completed by Tuesday 8th September, this is so we have the capacity to isolate pupils who may be
displaying symptoms of COVID19 and it will in the future be able to be used as either office space or a
Building work on the Ripon site has continued during the holidays, with the first phase of building work
now completed, creating three additional new classrooms, link corridors with learning areas, work areas,
toileting facilities and outside play areas. The second phase of build work to create two additional
classrooms; changing areas, PPA work areas and an office, is well under way. The facilities at the Ripon
site have now been brought to the same high standards as our Bedale site, meeting the needs of both
pupils and staff.
For several months considerable work and thought has gone into how school will fully open and how it
will run, however due to the complexity of arrangements, high numbers of pupils and staff, there may be
some problems and glitches, but we know that they we will be well managed and quickly addressed.
The COVID19 pandemic is something which we continue to live with and as we fully open with the return
of all pupils and staff, there will naturally be an apprehension which pupils, families and staff may feel.
We know from the practices and procedures which we put into place last academic year that we will be
operating in the safest and best way we can. As is very clear when the new school year starts, we
anticipate a great excitement from our pupils, who will be keen to return to school, not just to learn, but
to see their friends and see all of us again. There is no doubt that there will challenges ahead, but
together we will address these and support our pupils, our families and our staff, as we always have
Jonathan Tearle, Executive Headteacher Karen Pickles, Head of School
Thursday, August 20th, 2020
Congratulations to all our pupils on the successes they have had with their qualification and exam results.
As you will be aware there have been significant problems with qualification and exam results, this has affected us and unfortunately BTEC results from Pearsons have not yet been published, they should be released next week. Also OCR Entry level results are not being released until the 25th August.
From looking at the results which we have, everyone can feel very proud of the results we have received so far and that they reflect our predictions.
Jonathan Tearle, Executive Headteacher
Tuesday, July 7th, 2020
Free recorded concerts for schools and families
We are delighted to share our new Online Video Library for Schools with you. www.livemusicnow.org.uk/lmnathomeschools
This is a set of inclusive, participatory concerts recently recorded by some of the young professional musicians that work with Live Music Now. The videos are inspired by their work in SEN settings and are designed to be inclusive for children with additional learning needs.
Online classroom and family sessions
Live Music Now works has moved some of its work with schools and families online. We are now delivering:
We need music more than ever to help children and young people rebuild confidence and reconnect with peers and staff.
Tuesday, July 7th, 2020
Tuesday, July 7th, 2020
We have a parent governor vacancy, please click on the link for more details.
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
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
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.
Friday, May 22nd, 2020
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
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
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.
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.
Thursday, May 14th, 2020
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
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
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 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
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/