Dear parents and carers,
Following the Prime Minister’s announcements yesterday, we are absolutely thrilled that all pupils can return to school from Monday 8th March. Whilst the quality of remote learning provided by our academies has been high, there is no substitute for face-to-face teaching.
Your child’s Principal will be writing to you shortly with more details about how the return will be organised. Meanwhile, some key points for you to note are given underneath. The approach taken for pupils in our special schools may need to vary from the norm to take into account their individual circumstances.
- Attendance is compulsory. Academies will work closely with families to allay specific anxieties as much as possible ahead of pupils’ return.
- The full curriculum will be offered from the outset.
- In the first fortnight after their return, Covid testing will be offered to all secondary-age pupils in school. Following this, regular testing will take place at home. We await further details from the government on how home testing will be organised. Any parents who haven’t yet given consent for testing can still do so by contacting their child’s academy.
- All staff will also be offered regular Covid testing.
- Face masks will become an even more prominent feature of school life for staff and secondary-age pupils at least until Easter.
- Pupils and staff with a letter from their GP confirming that they are “clinically extremely vulnerable” should continue to work from home until at least the Easter holidays. Any pupil in this situation will continue to be offered high-quality remote learning.
- The “system of controls” will still apply in all of our academies to ensure everyone’s safety. This includes enhanced cleaning, extra ventilation of all indoor spaces and year group or class “bubble” arrangements for pupils.
What we do not know yet is the outcome of the recent consultation held by Ofqual into this summer’s GCSE and A Level examinations. We now expect this information later this week and your child’s Principal will contact you with further news once we have had a chance to process any national announcements.
Can I end by thanking all of you for your support through the current lockdown period. It has been a very trying time for everyone. Like you, we now look forward to a better time when we can put this dreadful period in our history behind us.
Simon Beamish | Chief Executive