Latest news - update 12th June 2020



12th June 2020


Dear parents and carers,


Staffing news


Whilst things are very different at the moment with regard to school provision, and we are taking things step by step, we do know that there will be some staffing changes in September.


Our Primary Deputy Headteacher Gillian Weale, who has led our primary department for many years, will be retiring at the end of this term. I am sure families, like staff, will be sad to see her go and we thank her for all the hard work and commitment to Vale School over the years. We wish her every happiness in her well-deserved retirement.


We are very pleased to let you know that Charlie Rooney-Norris will be taking up the role of Deputy headteacher at the primary department. Charlie has been working across Belmont and primary this year so she has started to meet primary families and work with them alongside Gillian.


Dawn Woodcock, who is a very experienced teacher with SENCO experience and currently works at another special school, Riverside, will be working as SENCO/Inclusion manager at Belmont part time from September along with our very experienced group of Vale Belmont staff.


Current arrangements


Thank you for your ongoing support and liaison with us during this time. We continue to provide home learning support for all families which I hope is making the situation a little easier for those children who are still at home.


The number of children we can safely support at school continues to be led by the individual needs of children and their families. We are also continuing to balance this with the safety of children and staff in school under the government guidelines in working ‘towards a phased return of more children and young people without a focus on specific year groups.’


We are providing in school support (based at our secondary department) for those families who need it, either due to parents being key workers or for other particular vulnerability requirements.


Due to the needs of many of our Vale children, who are clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable, we will continue to support through home learning. For other children, it is likely that for many families, the situation will continue to be that home remains the safest place for your child.


Social distancing for children with Special Needs and Disabilities remains very difficult in practice and whilst we are doing our best to observe distancing, clean more regularly, wash hands and use PPE wherever we can (eg changing position, toileting), this still remains a higher risk for children and staff than staying at home.


Safety for children, families and staff remains our priority, so we will continue to cautiously approach any changes. 


If you need some support or have any concerns about caring for your child at home, then please let us know and we will do our best to tailor our support. In some cases this may take time to organise so please bear with us.


With best wishes,

Sarah McLay