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Dear Parents and Carers

Once again we are writing to you as a group of schools with some further information regarding the recent government announcement concerning the potential opening of schools to additional year groups. We would like to reassure you that as a group of 20 local Knowsley schools we have been very much working together, whilst taking note of national and local guidance, to try to find a way forward which is safe for both our children, our families and of course, our staff. We have a duty of care to safeguard all of the school community.


Over the past few weeks all Central Collaborative schools have been supporting the families of key workers and some other children with the provision of emergency childcare during the school week and also during the Easter holiday period. In addition, teachers have been busy providing a wide range of home learning activities for your children which have had both an academic and a wellbeing focus. Lots of families have shared their learning and activities and across the whole Central school community we have loved receiving your feedback and videos. Teachers and other staff have also enjoyed keeping in touch with families and this has been a vital part of maintaining school / pupil relationships during this difficult time. We recognise that home schooling is by no means an easy task and we thank you for your incredible support and hard work!


What has the Government asked schools to do?

This week, against a backdrop of over 31000 deaths due to Covid 19 and a slight easing of the  current ‘lockdown’ procedures, schools were asked by the government to begin preparing for a partial return to school of children from the year groups Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. This was in recognition that children do need to return to school at some point and also to support parents and carers in returning to work. The Government have made clear that schools will only open if the five tests they have stipulated have been met. These five tests are:

  1. Protect the NHS’s ability to cope. We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
  2. See a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19 so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
  3. Reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
  4. Be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
  5. Be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infectionsthat overwhelms the NHS.

Schools received this information at exactly the same time as the rest of the country during the Prime Minister’s briefing on Sunday evening. Headteachers immediately began to consider plans as, like yourselves, they want nothing more than to have children back in school learning and socialising with their friends. The government produced numerous documents detailing the actions schools would have to take prior to increased numbers of children returning.  Some of these measures included:

  • reduced class sizes to adhere to social distancing. All of our schools have now checked their classroom sizes and most can fit small groups at any one time, for example, between 5 and 10 children maximum 
  • children to remain in the same group at all times with no mixing
  • children to have the same teacher all the time
  • increased hand washing facilities
  • separate entry and exit points
  • no parents / carers allowed on site
  • one way systems to be established in schools
  • reduced timetable / flexible days / staggered start & finish times
  • home schooling resources to continue to be available
  • desks to be positioned 2m apart if possible
  • soft furnishings / toys to be removed from Nursery  / Reception  / other classrooms
  • toys and equipment not to be shared
  • small equipment which cannot be easily cleaned must not be used
  • staggered breaktimes with no mixing of groups
  • additional cleaning throughout the day and week

There are a number of other requirements but I am sure you can understand that the children’s experience in school will be far removed from their usual routine and timetable. When we do open for additional children we will have a flexible approach to days and times which enables us to make the school environment as safe as we can and we will set out very prescriptive instructions which will have to be adhered to by all children and families. Even with all these additional measures in place, we will not be in any position to guarantee that both children and adults may not be exposed to the virus at some point in our settings. All of this will be a challenge for school staff, children and parents / carers, but, as always, when the time is right, we will do our very best!


What about Attendance during any partial opening?

We would of course like to see as many children as we can safely accommodate in school once the time is right. However, the Government guidance is clear: no school should penalise parents who decide to continue with home learning. Home learning resources and support will continue throughout any partial opening. 


What will happen next?

Each collaborative school is now working on plans which have safeguarding as their main focus. These plans will take time to finalise so we can be sure about what is safely achievable and possible at this time. At present, no date in the Summer term has been set for a confirmed wider opening of any of our schools. Government guidance is continuing to be published daily and all schools will continue to work alongside each other, the local authority, academy trusts and trade unions to ensure that we welcome additional children into our schools at the most appropriate time. We will of course endeavour for this to be as soon as safely possible. 


In the meantime, schools will continue to support the childcare of our Key Workers and other identified children as they have been doing since the onset of this crisis. Teachers will also continue to provide a wide range of online / home learning resources to ensure your children can access age appropriate learning activities. And of course, we will always keep the wellbeing of our children and families at the forefront of our minds through our regular phonecalls and social media presence. We will continue to support you all to the very best of our ability and capacity.


When the time comes for more children to safely attend school, your child / children’s school will contact you directly with further details and the next steps for you and your child / children. 

In the meantime, we ask for your continued support and patience. Please look after yourselves and each other and if you need any additional advice or guidance, then staff in your school will always be willing to help. Please check individual school websites for contact details.

Warmest regards

Mr Casson





Roby Park                                           St Anne’s                                 St Aloysius                  

St Margaret Mary’s Juniors                   St Aidan’s                                 St Brigid’s

St Margaret Mary’s Infants                   Hope                                       Huyton with Roby

Stockbridge Village Primary                 St Columba’s                             Willow Tree

Sylvester                                           St Joseph’s                                Malvern                       

Alt Bridge                                         Knowsley Lane                           Meadow Park

Central                                              St Albert’s



Dear Parents and Carers

As a group of schools forming the Central Collaborative we are writing to you following the Prime Minister’s statement last night. We are sure, like us, you have lots of questions which require further clarification. At the moment, for us in school, there is no change to the original guidance. We will provide care for those parents whose work is critical to the COVID19 response and only those who cannot be cared for safely at home. The message is still that is safer to stay at home.


We have not received any detailed information to support us with this new plan to start the phased reopening of some year groups. We expect we will receive further information from the Department for Education shortly, hopefully with some clarification. We will communicate this to you as soon as it is available.


We will need clear guidance to plan how it is possible to socially distance in schools and keep our children, teachers and families safe; how we might start to phase groups of children returning and what this looks like. Please be assured we will not reopen to any new groups of children until we are 100% prepared.


As always, we will keep you informed but for now, please try not to worry. Our plan for now is to continue to provide activities for learning at home, keep contact with you, our children and families, and continue to support each other in these very difficult and uncertain times.


Warmest regards


Mr Casson


Roby Park                                           St Anne’s                                 St Aloysius                  

St Margaret Mary’s Juniors                   St Aidan’s                                 St Brigid’s

St Margaret Mary’s Infants                   Hope                                       Huyton with Roby

Stockbridge Village Primary                  St Columba’s                            Willow Tree

Lord Derby Academy                           Sylvester                                  St Joseph’s 

Malvern                                             Park View                                 Alt Bridge

Blacklow Brow                                    Knowsley Lane                         Meadow Park

Central                                                St Albert’s



Dear Parents and Carers

As a group of schools forming the Central Collaborative we are writing to you with an update about the voucher system which is currently used to support you during this time of difficulty. We are delighted that the service provided by WONDE has been so effective and that very few problems have been reported. Knowsley Council have taken the decision to carry on with WONDE to deliver vouchers for the time being which is good for both schools and families as we can be sure our children are being looked after. There is also another national provider of vouchers who Knowsley may look to move to in the future if necessary, but only when we can be sure they can deliver an efficient service. 


At the beginning of this unprecedented situation with COVID-19, Knowsley took the decision to provide meals vouchers for both means tested free schools meals eligible children and also to all other children in year groups Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, as part of the universal free schools meal provision. This decision was welcomed and appreciated in these challenging times. 


As we now move further into the current school closure period, Knowsley Council has had to reconsider its approach so it is more in line with other authorities nationally. Unfortunately, it is not sustainable for the Council to continue to fund vouchers for all. Knowsley have therefore decided that this funding will not carry on and with immediate effect, vouchers will now only be provided to those families who are eligible due to low income and means testing. We appreciate that this will be disappointing news to many but we are sure you will also understand that the Council must also keep within spending limits. More information can be found in the article in the Knowsley News


Are you eligible for means tested Free School Meals?

The Council have asked schools to encourage parents and carers to check if they are eligible for a free school meal for their child / children, given that many parents’ and carers’ work situations may have changed due to COVID-19. Some parents/carers of infant children may not have applied previously as they are automatically entitled to free school meals under the Universal offer.  We want to be sure that we are issuing as many vouchers as possible over the remaining period of the lockdown – maximising this uptake will help to ensure that no pupils who are eligible for a free school meal go without one.

The application form for Free School Meals is attached to this letter. If you have any issues or need advice re. free school meals please contact the Knowsley Council Benefits Section on 0151 443 4042. Completed forms can be returned to the One Stop Shop or emailed to If you are a Liverpool resident then the form can be accessed here


Please also remember that if you are aware of any family in need of support, they can contact the Knowsley Support and Volunteer freephone line on 0800 073 0043.  Staff are available to take their call 24/7 and will help people to access support during these challenging times.


As a group of schools we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support you have given us during these difficult times. It has been so lovely to receive feedback from parents and carers, and even more so from your children. We will, of course, continue to do everything we can to support all our school communities. 


Warmest regards


Mr Casson



Roby Park                                           St Anne’s                                 St Aloysius                  

St Margaret Mary’s Juniors                    St Aidan’s                               St Brigid’s

St Margaret Mary’s Infants                    Hope                                     Huyton with Roby

Stockbridge Village Primary                   St Columba’s                         Willow Tree

Lord Derby Academy                            Sylvester                               St Joseph’s

Malvern                                              Park View                              Alt Bridge

Blacklow Brow                                     Knowsley Lane

Central                                               St Albert’s


Application for free school meals below

Application for free school meals

Supermarket Vouchers for Free School eligible children 


Dear Parent / Carer,

We hope this letter finds you well.  As you are aware, school sites are now closed to the majority of children and staff and they are operating only as emergency childcare centres for those key children identified by the Government

In line with Government guidance, Knowsley Council has worked with the school to be able to  support you to provide meals for your child during these difficult times.  Thank you for your patience whilst we have worked to resolve this matter.

If your child currently receives means tested free school meals (not Universal Free School Meals eligible to Reception to Year 2 children) and is not attending school during this period of time, Knowsley Council has made arrangements for you to receive food vouchers via a partnership with  This will replace the previous arrangement of collecting a packed lunch.

These vouchers will be sent once a fortnight, in the first instance via TEXT  to your mobile phone. Knowsley Council will fund this service until a Central Government scheme is up and running. For Primary School Pupils the voucher will have a value of £32.20 and for Secondary School Pupils the voucher will have a value of £32.90.

You will shortly receive a text message from Wonde to confirm which supermarket you would like to use your voucher in. The supermarkets currently available are ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s (however Wonde are adding more in the near future).

Please contact the school via telephone / email by 3.30pm on Friday 27th March if: 

  1. You have any questions about the message that you receive from Wonde  OR
  2. Your child is eligible for means tested Free School Meals but you have not received a text from Wonde. It may be that your contact details are not up to date with school


Further updates about the scheme will be provided shortly both via Knowsley News (, the school website and social media.

We hope that you are keeping you and your family safe and thank you once again for your patience and support.

Wonde Voucher Messages

Wonde Voucher Messages 1
Picture 1
Picture 2

Friday 20th March 2020 


Childcare Provision for KEY WORKERS 


Dear Parents, 


The guidance relating to Key Workers has now been released and clearly states that, the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

It is crucial that you follow this advice and do all you can to ensure your child’s good health and reduce the spread of the virus by keeping them away from others as much as possible during this critical period. All children who can be kept at home, should be.

Full guidance/key worker criteria is available below:


Your employer should have made every effort to ensure that you can work from home but for some, this just cannot happen. There will be small number of parents who have no alternative but to seek support from school to care for their child as they undertake vital work which will support the national effort. 

If you think that this applies to you and you wish for your child to be considered for a place at school you must now do a number of things: 

  • Email the school with your request for a place – our email address is call (0151)477-8300 
  • Name your child and outline your circumstances 
  • Supply proof of employment and shift patterns
  • For those in self-isolation, please state the date this started (if this applies to you or your child) 


Once we receive your email, we will process your application and respond back to you personally. Please be aware that your child will not be admitted on to the school premises from Monday 23rd March and beyond unless you have heard from school. 


Many thanks, 

Mr Casson