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Priory Woods School & Arts College

Priory Woods School & Arts College A Special Place to Learn

Closure Update

Dear Families,

Just a quick note to keep you updated regarding the closure.

Firstly, I appreciate and do not underestimate what a difficult time this has been for you all. No sooner back then off again was not a scenario any of us had anticipated and it is something nobody wanted. I know that the impact on you as families has been immense and that some of the children and young people have really struggled which is not good at all. If it hadn’t been deemed necessary by colleagues in Health and Public Health and in the local authority, in consultation with me, it would not have happened. The safety of our pupils and staff was the only criteria for the decision. It has been a ‘circuit breaker’ approach, giving time for any other linked infections to be identified and reducing the impact that this could have had not only in school but to you, our families. Whilst we know many of our pupils are robust, many are not and have significant health issues. At our school, we need to protect everyone.

All in all, we have had three confirmed cases and not all in one area of school.

I have continued to work closely with Health and the LA, including the Transport Department and we have been able to make arrangements for our students who attend Priory 16 to return on Monday 28th Sept. We were able to do this by carefully looking at any potential contacts and carrying out a risk assessment which supported their return. This was because they are in the other building.

For the rest of school, the return date remains Mon Oct 5th. This includes all of those students I spoke to over last weekend asking them to isolate following the news of the third case. I know this is disappointing but having looked at examples of similar schools who have had similar problems, this seems like the most sensible approach.

We have been working hard as a staff team to look at ways to make our bubbles even more secure and have made changes to how we deliver some parts of the curriculum to support this. We are doing everything we can to avoid a repeat of this closure but we need to be mindful of the local and national picture too.

I’d like to thank you too for helping with this by keeping your children at home if they are poorly, just to be on the safe side. As we all know, there are so many bugs and colds that go round schools at the best of times and although we don’t want children to be off every time they have a runny nose, I think you are wise to be cautious, especially given the local and national picture.

On a much more positive note, I had a lovely surprise earlier in the week when Kathleen from Parents for Change contacted school to let us know that the group have been making some sensory bags to go out to our families with children who would benefit from them. We took delivery yesterday and we will get them out to those families as soon as we can. Thanks again for this generous donation. As Kathleen and I said, it’s great to be able to work together to support each other.

In the meantime, please contact school either by phone or email to the office address should you need any help.

Kind regards


In Addition:

Hello again families,

I am just drawing your attention again to a phone number I put out last Friday when I contacted you about the closure. Should you require any information or support over the weekend, Middlesbrough Single Point of Contact (SPOC) is available on 01642 201831.

Have a lovely weekend,