Following Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday afternoon, there has been updated advice that will undoubtedly have implications for our whole school community. Following this, our senior leadership team met to review our current position and to discuss future planning.
The latest advice from Public Health England for educational settings has been updated and we continue to ensure that this informs our decision making. The following BBC summary was shared with our staff and governors last night and provides a concise overview of the advice that was given.
The current advice is that schools should remain open for now and that we continue to provide a place of learning for our students. We appreciate your understanding at this time of great uncertainty and we wish to reassure you that we continue to develop our contingency plans on a day by day basis.
Whilst we are planning for work to be set in case of a full or partial school closure, it is unmanageable for class teachers to provide this facility, for students who are currently absent from school, whilst we are still operating a ‘normal school day’. The Edulink and Show My Homework arrangements, as outlined in my previous letter dated 11 March, will begin if the advice changes and we are forced to close or partially close the school.
The current climate strongly suggests that we all avoid non-essential gatherings of people and, as a result, we have made the decision to cancel the Year 8 Parents Evening (for forms 8O, 8M, 8I and 8N) this Wednesday. The message from the Chief Medical Officer was clear and we all have to continue to make choices that carefully consider the health and wellbeing of our communities. We recognise that this was an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress, especially in light of the ongoing options process; the deadline for the submission of this form is Friday 20 March. If you have any concerns or queries relating to your child’s progress in a specific subject and wish to discuss these, please can we ask that you email school on firstname.lastname@example.org so that the relevant teacher can respond.
Apologies for the short notice of this decision but I am sure you appreciate that this is a rapidly changing situation. We believe that it will also be necessary to postpone the Year 10 Parents Evening on Wednesday 1 April and we will endeavour to rearrange this later in the year if at all possible.
The Prime Minister also discussed ‘unnecessary public gatherings’ and this will impact on all planned non-essential school activities. The Year 13 drama trip to The Lowry will no longer go ahead as the theatre will be closed, and Manchester University have cancelled tomorrow’s law conference. In addition, we have made the decision to postpone the Duke of Edinburgh expedition this weekend, the PTFA quiz, and all sports fixtures for the foreseeable future. We have made contingency plans in some subjects where there are imminent GCSE and/or A Level practical assessments that are due, by filming students’ performances should the assessment day with an external moderator / examiner be cancelled. Year 11 and Year 13 revision sessions will still take place in some cases at the discretion of the individual members of staff. Understandably, students and parents will be concerned about this summer’s examinations, but given that the situation is changing so quickly there is little official information available. I have enclosed the link to the latest Ofqual (who regulate qualifications, examinations and assessments in England) information https://www.gov.uk/government/news/updated-statement-on-coronavirus
Thank you for your understanding and ongoing support.