Spring Term return for Primary Schools – Latest information

Sent on behalf of Gareth Drawmer, Head of Achievement and Learning

Dear Colleagues,

As you are probably aware, there has been an announcement from the NEU this weekend advising its members in primary schools that it is unsafe to return to work on Monday.

This guidance, if followed by the majority of NEU members, is likely to have a significant impact on staff attendance at the start of this term. We are currently reviewing this statement with our Health and Safety team and HR with a view to providing guidance for all Buckinghamshire schools. In the meantime it is clearly vital for you and us to understand the likely impact that this will have on your schools, as such please find below a model letter for you to use or amend to support you in asking staff their intentions.

We would ask all headteachers to use the information from staff in order to complete the attached form.

Spring Term return 825

Please use the drop down menu to identify the status of each of your classes as soon as possible to provide a clear picture of the number of staff who will not be attending. Please return it to sis@buckinghamshire.gov.uk by 3pm on Monday 4th January, saved with your school’s 7 digit (825****) DfE number at the end of the filename . This will enable us to understand the impact of this action on a county wide basis and to help plan accordingly.

Clearly these are unprecedented times and we appreciate your hard work during this period. We will work with you to ensure that education can continue for our children and that everyone is kept safe.

This is a fast moving situation so we may need to update this position in the coming hours.

Warm regards,


Gareth Drawmer

Head of Service

Achievement & Learning

Dear All,

You will have seen in the news over the last few days the discussion around whether all schools should move to remote learning due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases across the country.

The NEU have now advised their members in primary schools that it is unsafe to return to school on 4th January.

Throughout this pandemic, I have worked with you to manage safety in our school. Our risk assessment is robust and has been adapted and considered when concerns have been raised.

I am working closely with the Local Authority who are in close communication with the DfE on this matter. I am also working closely with our community of schools.

Whilst I am confident that we have managed the risks of being at school as a team together, given the continued risks and the rise in cases due to the new variant of Covid-19, I would appreciate your feedback as to whether there is anything further that you feel should be done to ensure that you are safe in school. I would appreciate feedback from all members of staff, but if you are planning to follow the NEU’s advice, it is especially important that you explain what else you feel could and should be done to ensure you are able to work in ‘safe conditions’.

Thank you for your continued hard work and efforts during such challenging times.


Will you be attending school this week?  
If no, please explain the reason why not and the mitigations to our Covid-19 risk assessment that would need to be made to enable you to return to the classroom.  




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