Coronavirus Arrangements Update: Advanced Notice of Partial Closure
In light of the updated “Stay at Home” guidance to its response to the COVID-19 virus issued by the government on Monday 16 March, I must share with you the impact that this guidance is now having on the safe and secure operation of the school.
Since the beginning of the week we have witnessed a significant reduction in the number of our staff who are available for work in school and this trend of reduction in staffing availability is likely to increase as we head towards the end of this week. Our analysis of staffing capacity means that we now find ourselves in a situation where we have a reduced capacity to teach and safely supervise all children at all times.
We must therefore reduce the number of students in school. This reduction will take place in the first instance on Thursday 19 March and Friday 20 March of this week. The school will be closed to students in years 7, 8 and 9 on these days. I would ask that parents/carers begin to organise appropriate arrangements for this partial closure. We will endeavour to provide students with work via a bespoke website but with reduced staffing levels, for a minority of subjects, this may not be possible. More details of the website will be shared in due course.
I am acutely aware of the impact that these short notice closures may have on students who are eligible for free school meals. If you are a parent/carer of an eligible child and would like your child to be able to access the catering facilities at lunchtimes, please contact your child’s College Admin Office by 10am on Thursday and Friday in order that arrangements may be made to accommodate this request.
Our plan is to prioritise students in Years 10 – 13 who are currently undertaking preparations for public examinations. Where possible, these year groups will not be directed to remain at home for specific whole days. Year 12 students may find that individual classes are cancelled at short notice if the staff member needs to be redirected. A classroom will be available for students to undertake the learning that would have been provided by the teacher.
We will continue to communicate with all parents/carers via email but also please check our website and Facebook page. We aim to give parents as much notice as possible if or when further partial closure events are planned. The Year 10 Parents Evening scheduled for Wednesday 22 April has been postponed and we will advise parents/carers when this date has been rescheduled.
I understand that as parents/carers this arrangement will present you with challenges and we will of course aim to communicate as quickly as possible to give you time to make arrangements, in the event of a government decision to close schools.
Thank you in anticipation of your support through what are likely to be difficult and challenging weeks for us all. You can be sure that we will make the safety and education of your child our top priorities.
Mr M Gore