I am sure that many of you watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday evening, in which he outlined the next steps for us to move out of the current lockdown situation. Whilst the immediate changes were modest, he did outline his proposals for the future in a number of areas, including schools.
I have spent much of the last two days in meetings discussing what this will look for us, and how we can implement a safe return to school for some of our students. With the caveat that this is all dependent on decisions that will ultimately be made by the government and dependent on a fall in the transmission rate of Coronavirus, my current understanding is:
- Year 11 and Year 13 will not be returning to school. We are currently in the process of submitting their teacher assessed grades and we understand that results will be published on 13 August for Year 13 and 20 August for Year 11.
- There will be some face-to-face teaching, in school for Years 10 and 12 before the summer holiday. At the current time, we are not entirely sure what this will look like and we will continue to deliver online learning alongside any classroom-based teaching.
- It appears that Years 7 to 9 will not be returning to school before September 2020 at the earliest. We are currently looking at ways to develop our remote learning provision and anticipate that we will be using MS Teams more in the coming weeks.
There are no plans for there to be any teaching across the summer holidays, although we will continue to provide support for students with their learning after so many months away from school.
I also need to highlight that even in September, school is still likely to be very different and based on current guidance, we do not anticipate being open for all students, every day, rather a combination of some time in school and some remote learning.
Whilst I am keen to be in a position to welcome back as many students as possible and as soon as possible, I must reiterate that this will only happen when it is safe to do so. Between now and when students return to school, we will be doing all we can to ensure that the safety of both students and staff is an absolute priority and this will include a deep clean of the whole school, installation of hand sanitisers for all classrooms and the implementation of social distancing measures across the school. When students do return, it will be very different to the school that they left, but I know that they will display the usual fortitude and resilience that I have come to expect from our students.
The Department for Education have also made it clear that where parents do not feel that it is safe for their children to return to school, there will be no sanctions for their absence, but we would expect them to continue learning at home.
I appreciate that this is a very difficult time for everyone, and we will do everything that we can to support our students and their families. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything that you would like to discuss, and please be assured that as we receive further clarity about how we will be able to offer schooling to more of our students you will be informed as soon as possible.
With very warm regards,
Mr D Littlemore