Important School Updates and Parent Questionnaire 14th May

Thursday 14th May 2020

Dear families and friends of Instow,

Following the Government's recent update on a phased return of some year groups to schools after 1st June I have to write with a heavy heart and let you know that I and other headteachers have strong reservations about the sudden changes being asked of schools and families without additional safety measures in place, especially in our cramped school setting and we are waiting for more guidance and flexibility from the Department of Education and Devon County Council by Monday 18th May. 

I cannot emphasise strongly enough that we would like nothing more than to return to some form of normality and to be with children again, however this is not feasible currently and we advise that you do not make any arrangements for Preschool, Reception, Year One or Year Six children to return after the 1st June until we can improve provision. We do acknowledge that this may cause families some difficulties when returning to work and hope you understand our reservations currently. 

This is what we do know:

  • The Key Worker scheme for all year groups continues to Friday 22nd May.
  • Half-term break is from Saturday 23rd May to Sunday 31st May and school will be closed.
  • From 1st June school continues to be partially open for the children of any front-line key workers from all year groups.
  • As we all know children do spread coughs and colds, they touch everything; they do not remain socially distant from each other and it breaks my heart to even think that we have to keep them apart from each other, until we have more secure safety measures in place.
  • We hope you also understand that our staff working with your children should also not be expected to remain socially distant from them, especially the younger ones, but to have other forms of protection that protects staff and children.
  • These might be: 
  • much more manageable numbers of children on the school site, working in small groups;
  • or staff wearing moderate PPE in enclosed rooms in school;
  • or improved testing so that we can relax on the school site;
  • or the track and trace apps in place,
  • alongside improved rates of infection.


  • Until I am satisfied that there are additional safety measures in place for our school setting I can not open the school to so many additional children and staff.
  • The DfE has informed us that families would not be penalised if they kept their children at home until September 2020, when hopefully more would be known.
  • I am awaiting further safety guidance and should be able to give you more information after then, alongside other headteacher colleagues in the locality.

So that I can find out your opinion, please take one minute of your time to respond to a very short Instow questionnaire, only if your child is in the following year groups:

  • Pre-school,
  • Reception,
  • Year One,
  • Year Six.

This questionnaire asks those year group parents if they would be happy to return their children to school under the current arrangements, with staggered drop-offs, breaks etc. Click on this link below to complete it:

Parent Questionnaire

Please complete this tick-box by Sunday 17th May, early evening. The responses will help us to plan ahead and inform Governors. 

In the meantime you are in our thoughts and we really love to hear about your children's activities via our on-line learning platforms. We hope you enjoyed our little video for you too?

If you wish to talk to me, I will be available on site on Tuesday and Thursday next week and you are welcome to email your class teacher on the usual support email addresses. We share your concerns and are working in the best interests of our whole school community.

With best wishes

Mrs Knight and team .

This is the link to book key worker and EHCP children only: Key Worker and EHCP Booking Form