Information & Updates for Parents/Carers regarding COVID-19
UoB School Safeguarding addendum Covid-19
For information, please find an addition to our Safeguarding Policy here.
17 July 2020: Message from the Principal
Following very different ways of working and learning since March, you will be aware that from September all schools and educational settings are being asked to prepare for the return to onsite education for all pupils and students. We have been carefully considering our plans and arrangements to do this, and I outline some of the core details in this communication. As we proceed across the summer holiday period, there will be several further sets of information to provide additional operational details. This will include, once we have collected queries and views, any FAQ (frequently asked questions) document(s) to further support induction.
Our response for September is different to that put in place to this point. Naturally, the safety and welfare of pupils, students, and staff remains central, and to achieve this we have assessed risk and put in place a system of controls. This is alongside providing a curriculum which is as broad and ambitious as possible. In returning to school, we recognise that opportunities for social engagement and the rebuilding of friendships face-to-face are important.
In relation to our curriculum there will necessarily be some compromise in our offer. I would stress my and our hopes that the amendments I outline in this letter are temporary and relatively short term, but at this stage we anticipate that amendments will be in place at least from September to December. As we journey across the autumn term, we shall keep all plans under review – including remaining agile to any national developments.
Induction and the start of the School term in September
We plan to amend the use of the first four days at the start of the term, in order to support the induction of new routines for staff, returning pupils and students, and pupils and students joining our School. Please therefore note the dates and arrangements below:
- Tuesday 1 September 2020 – staff development only (no pupils and students).
- Wednesday 2 September 2020 – staff development only (no pupils and students).
- Thursday 3 September 2020 – new Year 7 pupils and new year 12 students only (09.10 arrival for year 7 pupils and 09.40 arrival for year 12 students).
- Friday 4 September 2020 – Year 8, 9, 10, 11 pupils and Year 13 students only (09.10 arrival for years 8/9 pupils and 09.40 arrival for years 10/11/13).
- Monday 7 September 2020 – onsite schooling for all year groups.
Documents for information
02 July 2020: Message from the Principal
You will note news and information today from the Secretary of State for Education around the start of the September term, and the planned return to school for all children full-time.
We have since 15 June welcomed some year 10 pupils and year 12 students to School for limited face-to-face teaching and learning, in line with national guidelines. They have joined a group of children from key worker families and those in vulnerable circumstances, who have been onsite since 23 March. To achieve this, we have implemented a range of measures to create a Covid-Secure environment, in line with Health and Safety Executive requirements and guidance. I especially thank all of those children for their collaborative and responsible approach.
We recognise fully that remote learning and support continues for almost all of our children at this time – and will remain so until the end of term, Friday 17 July.
Turning our thoughts to receiving our children and staff back onsite at scale from September, will now require further planning and adaptations ahead. Initial work is already underway here. I shall be in touch at the earliest opportunity next week to outline our proposals and any associated changes – and to seek your views. As we have throughout the Covid-19 period, we endeavour to put in place provision which is meaningful, manageable, and foremost safe.
14 May 2020: Message from the Principal
Please find here my latest communication relating to future school based arrangements.
Further to the address from the Prime Minister last weekend, and subsequent guidance and messaging from the Department for Education, secondary schools have been instructed as a part of national arrangements for easing Covid-19 related lockdown, to assess the possibility of providing some face-to-face contact with pupils in year 10 and students in year 12. This is to supplement online learning and provision in place at this time. Learning is of course important for all our young people, regardless of their age. At this time, I do support prioritisation for year 10 and year 12, being the 2021 public examination cohorts.
You will be aware from media messages, that in any event, schools will not be asked to welcome even relatively small numbers of children back into school, whilst risks assessed at a national level are too high. Whilst therefore, any start date to invite any year 10 and year 12 children into School remains moveable, I am working with leaders at our School on various plans that could come into effect from Monday 8 June, or thereafter.
In our planning, we have some core principles. These are for proposals to be purposeful (so would provide direct teaching and instruction, rather than supervision); manageable (from the perspective of my staff’s workload); and foremost safe. We will provide fuller information and action plans as we move into next week – but in relation to safety, we are focusing on three themes: hygiene, distancing, and staggering (within daily routines).
Home learning, support, and current school-based systems will continue for all pupils and students. This includes those in year 10 and year 12 who will in any event be invited on to the school site most likely for only a part of any week. You will understand that this arises from social distancing restrictions.
We are also continuing to supervise and support children of key worker families and vulnerable pupils continuously – much as we have done since 23 March.
Leaders and I recognise fully that any return to schooling, physically, may not be straightforward for you, your child, or your families. Please be assured that planning ahead for us centres on minimising and controlling risks where we reasonably can. Once we are in a position to circulate fuller details of this, we shall be keen to invite views or queries from you as parents/carers – in attempting to allay any additional concerns you may have – or indeed to address any aspects we may by then not have thought of given that we are responding to such extraordinary circumstances. I shall be understanding where, as parents/carers, your thoughts and choices may be ultimately to continue to keep your child away from school in June/July – but I would ask you to only make that decision once we have our fuller plans together to share with you, and so that you can be appraised of and find confidence from our attention to detail and people’s welfare.
I shall be in further contact next week – and in the meantime I send my continued best wishes for your family’s well-being.