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Letter to Parent/Carers - 4th January 2021

posted Jan 4, 2021, 8:07 AM by Mark Giudici
Dear Parents and Carers,

I sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are safe and in good health.

You will probably have seen or read the announcement from the government during recent days regarding secondary schools and colleges being asked to implement a phased start to the Spring Term, and being invited to set up a mass COVID-19 testing programme for students and staff.

The announcement can be found here

We will follow the government guidance on how to phase the start of term, which is intended to ensure effective education can continue but also reduce the spread of the virus as students and staff return after Christmas.

This means the following:

Phased start to the Spring Term
Week commencing Monday 4 January 2021

The government have offered schools the opportunity to use Monday 4 January as an additional
training day to support the preparations for the testing of staff and students going forward. We will be
taking this opportunity and so school will be closed to all students on Monday 4 January. We will set
remote learning for all students from 9am on Wednesday 6 January using Google Classrooms. Many
examination classes will be offered ‘live’ lessons on Zoom. Please refer to the section entitled
‘remote learning’ for additional information.

From Wednesday 6 January, the following students will return to school:

● Vulnerable children and the children of critical workers
● Students who are due to sit external examinations this week (only at the times of their external examinations)

We will use our existing lists compiled following the first national lockdown to identify students who
should be in school and will presume that, if your son/daughter attended school during the school
closures in the spring and summer term, then they will be attending from Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Should you need to discuss your son/daughter’s place please contact the school at

● or for provision for children with additional vulnerabilities
● 01215231960 to request a call back from Mr Evans about eligibility for key/critical worker provision

*Please note that all sessions will run from 10am until 2pm and have been fully risk assessed.

The definition of critical worker can be found here:
Week commencing Monday 11 January 2021

Students in year groups Years 11 and 13 will return to school. Further information will be sent to
parents/carers later this week about their return and the offer of COVID-19 testing in school and the
necessary documentation associated with this. The provision for children of key workers and
vulnerable families will continue.

Week commencing Monday 18 January 2021

Students in all year groups will return to school. Further information will be sent to parents/carers
about the full return of all students and the offer of COVID-19 testing in school and the necessary
documentation associated with this.

Remote Education

From 9am on Wednesday 6 January, remote education will be made available for all students via Google Classrooms. Year 11 and Year 13 students will receive live lessons via Zoom from Wednesday morning in preparation for their return to school on Monday 11 January. Year 10 and Year 12 students will receive live lessons via Zoom from Monday 11 January in preparation for their return to school on Monday 18 January.

Our remote education offer can be found on our website. Students who are identified as critical
worker children or a vulnerable student will follow the same remote education whilst in school.

Mass testing programme

We are positive about the potential for the mass testing of students and staff in schools, as a way of reducing the spread of the virus and enabling fewer students and staff to have to self-isolate. Setting up this programme in school is an incredibly complex operation. We have been sent some information about how it should work already, but more detailed guidance is expected to be produced by the government over the next few days.

We will not, therefore, be in a position to have this programme up and running from Monday 4 January but aim to have this in place for the week commencing Monday 11 January. We will let you know more about our plans as soon as we can. It is worth noting that all testing will be voluntary. In the meantime, when students can return to school, we will continue to implement the safety measures we have been using in the autumn term with any enhancements required by Tier 4 restrictions.

Free School Meal Vouchers

We intend that from Tuesday 5 January families who are in receipt of free school meals will continue to have vouchers issued. This will be reviewed on Friday 8 January.

Please accept our apologies for having to send this letter so late but I am sure you will appreciate that the information needed to be shared with you as expediently as possible.  However, there have been many different announcements made during recent days which have provoked differing opinions within central and local government. You will have also seen in the press that teaching unions have a particular view. We await the outcome of discussions over the coming days and will watch for announcements affecting primary schools closely.

Thank you for your patience and support following these recent changes to the start of the new term. I apologise in advance that this week is likely to require more letters with updated information. I remain mindful of information overload but I am committed to keeping you fully informed. May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year! Thank you for your unwavering support of our important work under such difficult circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Trafford