Headteacher: Mr J Rielly

19th March 2020

Dear Parent / Guardian,

Following the recent announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday, we will need to close the school to most pupils as part of the national effort to delay the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This will come into effect at the end of the day on Friday 20th March 2020.

All schools are being asked to make provision for vulnerable children (Education, Health and Care Plans, Free School Meal eligibility, on-going social care support) as well as children with parents who are key workers (see list below). Nevertheless, any child (or household member) presenting with new symptoms of a cough and/or fever, will require 14 days of isolation for everyone in that household, following relevant government guidance.

The school is aware of all those pupils who fall into the bracket of ‘vulnerable’ and will be contacting them individually over the course of the next 2 days.

The DFE has released further information about key workers. Using this guidance, we would ask parents to complete the identification tool overleaf if they feel that both parents identify as key workers. This must be returned on Friday 20th March to allow the schools to plan and deploy staffing.

Given the real likelihood that staffing levels in the school will decrease further, it is vital that accurate submissions are made so that the school can remain safely open for the children identified by the government. Additionally, the school will be working hard to extend its provision for these identified pupils into the Easter Holidays. Nevertheless, you will appreciate that there is much to organise and communicate with school staff to achieve this. All schools within the Blandford School Network are exploring ways in which resources can be pooled for this common purpose.

For those pupils who do not fall into the categories of ‘vulnerable’ or ‘having key workers parents’, we are preparing our home learning offer. This includes:

  • A paper starter pack with ready-to-go activities (pupils will take home on Friday and spares will be left in the school reception foyer.
  • Advice detailed in a separate letter: Downlands School Home Learning. This will be emailed separately as well as paper copies provided


Thanks for your on-going support in these challenging times for everyone.

Yours sincerely

James Rielly



Key Worker Categories (Please circle for each parent applicable)

Critical Armed Forces


Social Worker



Prison Officer

Key Goods Delivery Truck Driver



I can confirm that both parents fall into the ‘key worker’ categories identified above and that I would like my child to attend Downlands after the school closes to most children on Friday 20th March.


I can confirm that both parents fall into the ‘key worker’ categories identified above and that I would like my child to attend Downlands during the Easter Holiday.


Downlands School
College Rd
Blandford Camp
Dorset DT11 8BG

Tel: 01258 453348

Dandelions Pre-School

Tel: 01258 489914

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Headteacher & Safeguarding Lead
Mr James Rielly




Downlands Community School