School closures over the Christmas period

Dear Colleagues

Following recent conversations with the RSC and Department for Education (DfE), I thought it would be helpful to clarify the position of London Borough Waltham Forest regarding school closures over the Christmas period.

We expect schools to adhere to the scheduled school term dates unless either Government guidance supersedes this, or a school has previously consulted and agreed with its community revised dates of opening to pupils.

We continue to value the contribution of the wider school community to remain open to all children and this is our primary focus between now and the end of term. Whilst we understand that Christmas is a special time for significant sections of our community, we are aware that other times are similarly valuable to many, and that sacrifices have already been made to suppress the spread of the pandemic.

I would ask that where any school; either maintained or otherwise, is considering any adjustment to scheduled term dates they contact myself or Gerry Kemble to discuss this as a matter of priority.  Whilst we will engage constructively, please bear in mind that the DfE and RSC have made their position very clear regarding their opposition to the early closure of schools.

Thanks as always

David Kilgallon | Director of Learning and Systems Leadership