Important update for the start of term
(Posted on 31/12/20)
I hope you and your families are keeping well, and you have been able to share some festive cheer over the last few days. As you will have heard on the news yesterday, the Government has delayed the opening of schools next week and extended remote learning provision. I have listed below the revised plans for the start of the new term although these may have to be adapted further:
- Year 11 and 13 are now to return to school on Monday 11th January and will receive remote learning until this later return date, for four days, from Tuesday 5th January. These will be live lessons at the scheduled times in the majority of cases. I will confirm a start date for Y12 early next week (either 11 or 18 January).
- The external exams in BTEC Sport (retake) and Health and Social Care (Y12) will still take place at the set time. I will be in touch about the Construction Paper for Y11.
- Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 are to have remote learning for nine school days, from Tuesday 5th January, and will now return to school on Monday 18th January.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you will need hard copies of work, as work will be set online via TEAMS.
- Full-time provision will be offered for the children of Key Workers and vulnerable children from Tuesday 5th January. I have received responses to the request sent out about this before Christmas, but some additional students may now wish to be considered. I have listed the DfE's criteria for "vulnerable" children below. Please complete this form, as soon as possible, to confirm that you wish your child to attend school next week.
- School transport - we will need to let Shropshire Transport know which routes we need for the children of Key Workers and vulnerable children from 5-8th January; from 11th January, all services will run for Year 11 students, and then for all students from 18th January.
- Food vouchers will be supplied for students in receipt of Free School Meals during the period of remote learning. Should we be told that vouchers are not available then money will be transferred instead.
- We hope to get the 2 lateral flow tests completed for all staff as swiftly as we are able next week. The first batch of lateral flow tests are being delivered on 4th January, and the team of staff delivering the testing programme, will have received the online training by the end of the day. We are aiming to test any children of Key Workers and vulnerable children in school (your consent permitting, of course), and we will invite Year 11, 12 and 13 into school during the first few days to get their first tests done, if possible, with the second test administered three days later. This should ensure that they are safe to return to school.
- My hope is to get other year groups tested during the second week of term. Having the test is, of course, voluntary, and consent information will be sent out, so I am hopeful many parents/carers will be able to bring their children in for testing during this time. I will be in touch nearer the time about appointments for testing and will also send consent information out to parents/carers of children in Years 7 to 10 next week. Please be assured that no tests will be given without parental consent.
- Our current Risk Assessment has proved robust to date, but I will review and amend it in light of the new guidance. At this time of a new, more virulent strain I want to reiterate that we will show a ZERO TOLERENCE of students who break our Covid rules.
I hope that this plan is one that will not require amending further and have everyone back in school by the start of week three of the new term. I am optimistic that the testing programme will further help us minimise any risk of infection but am acutely aware of the fragility of this current situation.
31 December 2020
DfE: Vulnerable children and young people include those who:
- are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, including children and young people who have a child in need plan, a child protection plan or who are a looked-after child
- have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- have been identified as otherwise vulnerable by educational providers or local authorities (including children’s social care services), and who could therefore benefit from continued full-time attendance, this might include:
- children and young people on the edge of receiving support from children’s social care services or in the process of being referred to children’s services
- adopted children or children on a special guardianship order
- those at risk of becoming NEET (‘not in employment, education or training’)
- those living in temporary accommodation
- those who are young carers
- those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example, due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)
- care leavers
- other children and young people at the provider and local authority’s discretion including pupils who need to attend to receive support or manage risks to their mental health