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Letter From The Head Of School

Harvey Waller - Friday, December 18, 2020

You may have seen in the media details of the press release issued yesterday afternoon by Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, announcing the “Staggered  rollout of coronavirus testing for secondary schools and colleges”.

In this announcement, Mr Williamson also announces the plan for schools to operate a staggered return to school from 4th January 2021.

Monday 4th January will remain our planned INSET day, and therefore we would like to confirm that we will be staggering the start of term from Tuesday 5th January 2021, combining face-to-face teaching for some pupils, with remote learning for others. We think that this is a sensible approach to reintegrating pupils back into the school building after the relaxing of restrictions by the Government over the Christmas break.All staff will be back in school from the first day of term.

We will provide face-to-face education from Tuesday 5th January for all students who are preparing for public examinations. This means that the school will be physically open for students in Year 11 only. On Tuesday 5th January to Friday 8th January 2021 Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be receiving remote education via Google Classroom.Students will be set lessons according to their Week 1 timetable on these days.

Children in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 whose parents are critical workers (NHS, emergency services, or teachers) are welcome to physically attend school, where they will access remote learning provision in a supervised space. If you are a critical worker and would like your child to attend school it is essential that you book your child a place by contacting the school by 2pm on Monday 4th January 2021.

The school will fully open for face-to-face teaching for all students (apart from those needing to self isolate) from Monday 11th January 2021.  

We understand that the Government would like all schools to offer “coronavirus testing from the first week of January.” We fully support the aims of this testing programme, but would like to reassure you that we will not initiate a testing programme without full consideration of both the safety implications and the practical arrangements. We would also like you to be fully consulted in any programme that we might offer, so that we are able to support you in making a considered decision about whether you consent to your son or daughter being tested.

I am sure that you will understand that we will simply not be in a position to be able to offer this testing facility at the start of term. Please be assured that if we were to offer this targeted coronavirus testing in the future, it would only be when we have recruited appropriate staff from the community, ensured that all safeguarding checks have been completed, and implemented a full training programme from medically trained professionals.

Thank you for your continued support in these challenging times. We wish you and your family a happy and healthy Christmas.

Yours faithfully,

Darren Warner-Swann                             Liza Leung
Head of School                                          Executive Headteacher

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