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Initial response to government announcement of school closures

You may have seen the announcement regarding school closure from Monday (and of course it is INSET on Friday which effectively makes our last day tomorrow).  We will be communicating arrangements for vulnerable children as soon as possible.  We will ask if you intend to send them school.  We have already made arrangements to cover meals for children entitled to free school meals and will proceed with these immediately, before the government manage to organise themselves.   We will also communicate with you to establish which of you are key workers (once we have a clear idea of which professions are included in this) who will need to send children to school.  I would urge you to consider the implications of this carefully as there will not be school transport available. You may feel confident that your child can stay at home unsupervised.   We will endeavour to provide a service to those who need it whilst we can maintain safe staffing to do so.

Clearly, there is uncertainty around the examinations announcement.  I urge students in year 11 (and their parents) to consider that no alternative arrangements have been announced.  Although we currently have absolutely no idea what the plan is, we are clear that it may involve professional predictions, postponed exams (later in the year or when children start college) or submitting evidence of NEA and other work done so far.  With this in mind, I would strongly encourage students to maintain their studies, complete any NEA that is still possible (for example, Dance) and work towards the goal of securing their knowledge and understanding.  In the worst case, if there were no exams and it felt as if their preparations were in vain, they will be far better prepared for the next stage of their lives as a result of their hard work.  This approach will prepare them for any eventuality and will help maintain routine in their lives during unprecedented situation.

Clearly, as a school we have a lot to consider in order to establish our plans going forwards.  As these plans are formed, I will, of course, let you know the details.  This will occur over the next two days as details from government become clearer and time has been spent planning provision as thoroughly as we possibly can.

Parents of Year 9 students: Please note that staffing levels are currently are on the cusp of partial closure to Year 9 in addition to Year 8.  Currently we are open to Year 9 tomorrow but will reassess this early in the morning.  If we are due to close to Year 9, our first method of communication will be text message.  If you receive a message of this nature, from the school, please forward it your friends and post it on Social Media, to ensure everyone has the message. 

I know that this is an extremely stressful and uncertain time for all of you.  This is also true of us in school.  Like you, we are in a state of disbelief and are coming to terms with the situation. 

Please accept my best wishes and my hopes that you all stay healthy and watch this space for more detail to follow.

Kind regards,

Mr Jon Beck