I wrote to you at the start of this week, however, there have been some further announcements and I thought it would be helpful to share the updates with you as we come to the end of the week.
Return to Schools
The prime minister has announced that it will not be possible to resume face-to-face learning immediately after the February half-term and instead hopes it will be safe to commence the reopening of schools and colleges from Monday 8 March. This is in response to the national public health data and pressure on NHS capacity.
If the government achieves its target of vaccinating everyone in the four most vulnerable groups with their first dose by 15 February, then those groups will have developed immunity from the virus around three weeks later, that is by 8 March. It is for this reason that we hope it will therefore be safe to commence the reopening of schools from Monday 8 March. Education settings, as well as students, parents and carers will be given at least two weeks’ notice to prepare for a return to face-to-face education.
Hopefully, we will have further information on the exact manner of reopening by 22 February and I will update all parents and carers as soon as we have the information.
Over half term our academy will close as normal and our hub provision for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers will resume again from 22 February, after the half-term.
We will continue to provide high quality remote education for all our students at home after half term. This is in line with the wider national lockdown measures to help minimise the spread of the virus and respond quickly to the new variant.
As we will be shut over the half term week, there will be no Lateral Flow Testing taking place in our academy. We will resume the routine testing once a week when we return. Parents and carers should continue to inform the academy if there are any positive cases over half term with their child via firstname.lastname@example.org
All students eligible for free school meals will receive holiday vouchers from the local authority and we will be in touch to organise this with the relevant students and families.
Parent and Student Survey
You will be aware that we have sent home a parental survey to gather feedback on how remote learning is going. We will also be sending a similar one to our students so that we can refine and adapt our remote learning appropriately. It is important that we adapt our approaches effectively to suit the needs of our students. Once collated, we will provide parents with information on the outcomes of the surveys which close on 8 February. Please do take the time to participate and provide feedback as staff have worked incredibly hard during this lockdown period to support the learning of all our students.
We have an INSET day on Friday 12 February which was already preplanned and published on the website. Therefore, there will be no live lessons on this day as staff will be completing training for their professional development. Our hub provision will also be closed on this day.
Grading for GCSE and Vocational Courses
The final outcome for the consultation from DFE regarding the awarding of GCSE/Vocational grades is due to be released on 22 February. Once we receive this we will share further information with parents and carers. In the meantime, students should continue to attend all live lessons and finish all their work to the best of their ability.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents and carers for their dedication and hard work. It’s not easy working remotely and supporting your child with online learning, but we have come together yet again as a community and supported one another through this difficult time. We are all trying our best and we will continue to support all students and parents as best as possible whilst we navigate through this pandemic.
Mrs N Anwar